|Victoria statue & County Hall, Wakefield.|
The motley crew behind Wakefield's East vs West beer festival have been rather busy of late.
Several meetings have taken place and the beer list is beginning to take shape for the May 15 to 16 event at The Red Shed on Vicarage Street.
Last month some of the organisers decamped to Manchester to look at the western breweries likely to feature at the festival.
That makes it sound rather formal when in fact it was an excellent mini pub tour led by the man behind the Beers Manchester blog
The blogger is organising the East vs West beers from his side of the Pennines. He is a friend of Five Town's brewer Malcolm Bastow, who is organising the festival overall and sourcing the Yorkshire beers.
Our start was the wonderful Marble Arch in Ancoates, where we were treated to several brews from Marble, one from First Chop and another from Brass Castle.
The host's Antipodean and Lagonda drew the purrs as did the food. Beers Manchester informed us it was one of the best pubs to get food in - his local knowledge was spot on. Haggis-filled scotch eggs, cheese boards and a belting burger were all enjoyed by the group.
We took in another three pubs, including The Crown & Kettle where it was an all dark affair. A good day out and reminiscent of the First group trip led by Steve Goodwill before Christmas.
A few days later and we were back in Outwood at Malcolm's brewery for another planning meeting. I wish all planning meetings were like this, two Five Town's on draught (including One at T'end which had a fair few admirers at The Star during its last festival).
Then, last Thursday we me again at Malc's where Old Norrell was on the bar, I also espied a jug full of dark beer, which Malcolm told us was Pancake Porter brewed with North Riding. The sample had come out of the fermenter and had a lovely rum aroma (thanks GBK) and a distinct berried taste. I think Malc told us he had used blueberry. Anyway, I just had a sip and shall be looking out for this on cask soon.
Back to business, we were presented with a copy of the A4 festival poster, which listed all the breweries involved.
From Yorkshire we have Atom, Blue Bee, Rat, Sunbeam, Learn To Brew, Revolutions, North Riding Brewery, Clark's, Brown Cow and Five Towns.
Lancashire is represented by First Chop, Tickety Brew, Squawk Brewing, Blackjack, Brewsmith, Shindigger Beer, Wilson Potter, AllGates, Marble, Quantum and Thirst Class.
Malc did drop a few clues about the specific beers, but he made the mistake of having the second test from Grenada on in the background. So, let's just say someone wasn't paying full attention.
But I do recall the Brown Cow beer will be green hopped and the Clark's will be a Chappers special, possibly a stout.
I'll post a full beer list as soon as I get one.
The poster also gives the session times: noon until 4pm, then 5pm to midnight both on Friday and Saturday, May 15-16.
It will be pay on the door. Pricing is likely to be £5, with proceeds going to children's cancer charity Candlelighters and community-minded Newton Hill Cricket Club, Wakefield.