|The festival venue is a 20-minute walk from the railway station.|
More than 450 beers are on offer at The Knavesmire over the course of the next three days.
It was my first visit to York CAMRA's festival, which I gather has shifted a few hundred yards from its previous location towards the concourse.
Apparently, poor drainage had played a part in that decision but I'm glad to report the going was good to firm thanks to the Indian summer.
With so many beers to go at it was a bit of a lottery as to what to chose first. So a right to left wander along the very long bar ensued. The first thing that caught my eye were how many Wakefield and Huddersfield breweries were on the main bar. I saw Robin Hood (Altofts), Mallinsons, Three Fiends Tigertops, Trinity and Five Towns all on handpull.
Further up the bar were more local brews and dedicated bars from the likes of Rooster, Bad Seed, and newcomers Brew York, who walked away with the locAle prize for Tonkoko milk stout. It was memorably described to me as being like 'liquid Bounty'. I'm not quite sure what Tim would've made of it with his forthright views on flavoured beers but for me it was sweet without being cloying and the coconut taste really came through.
I also tried another of their beers, Kiwi. But not having read my programme notes properly, I was surprised to see was a dark amber coloured beer rather than the NZ pale I was expecting. But the notes were spot on about the combination of maltiness and the hops.
The brewery has its base on Walmgate where it also has a tap room, which is open from Thursday 5pm and all day Friday and Saturday (noon to 11pm). You can get a 10% discount off all drinks at the tap room during the festival if you show the brewery's advert in the festival programme.
I was with the Five Towns posse at the festival, and Malcolm had it on good authority that Rooster's Baby Face Assasin was on top form on cask. It was my beer of the day by a distance.
In the background I could hear the tannoy announcing the locaAle and Siba North awards.
I saw quite a few awards go to the likes of Harrogate Brewery, Hambleton, Roosters, Black Sheep and Brew York. But I won't list all the category winners as I wansn't in note-taking mode and I expect they can be found on the Siba site shortly.
But there is a good review about the event on the York Press website here.
All in all, I thought it was an excellent festival in a brilliant setting. We sat near the winning post in front of the grandstands until the sun went down on a memorable day.