Wednesday 18 January 2017

Let the festivals begin

What festivals are you looking forward to over the next few months?
Well, here are the ones I will be attending between now and the start of April.

This week, it's a trip up north and my first visit to the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival, which runs from 19th to 21st January and is held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex Ltd, for further details, please follow this link
I've heard very good things about this festival in the past and I look forward to finding some new beers and breweries, if you're around, say hi, I will be there with Beer O'Clock Show Steve (we should be wearing our Hopinions tee shirt, if we have remembered to pack them). Also, I believe those guys from a little known brewery by the name of Cloudwater might have some cask beers on, all part of the "Goodbye to cask" tour, perhaps the comeback tour is already in the planning? Fellow podcasters Beernomicon will be there and hoping to catch up with blogger and hero of Manchester Beer Week Connor Murphy (although now that he has been name checked by Roger Protz, he might not speak to the likes of us).

Next up, and, still in Jan, it's a visit to my local winter beer festival, which kicks off Wed 25th Jan and finishes up Sat 28th. Held in the town centre, it's easily accessible by public transport and is held in an old church, further details can be found here
As you can see from the link, it is a Camra festival.....I know many people have strong views one way or another about Camra (I do too), but, this isn't an opinion piece, maybe one day I will put something down in writing about my relationship with this organisation that I am a long time member of. A good range of local beers will be on offer, plus some from further afield, also, it's cashless (you pay £10 for a token card) and if you want, you can donate the remainder to a local charity. My main gripe is the bloody half pint tankards, I never fail to take the damn things home, only to then realise I really do not have the space (they don't stack!).

Staying in Essex, it's time for the Chelmsford Winter Beer Festival, another Camra offering, but, probably double the size of the Colchester one. This one runs from Wed 15th Feb to Sat 18th, all the details can be found here
The venue is the King Edward IV Grammar School (KEGS), who says us Camra folk don't have a sense of humour?!?! Always a good range of beers at this one and again very accessible by public transport, plus, only a 10 min walk from the train and bus stations. Appears to be a theme developing here, I'll be in attendance on a Thursday again, where there will undoubtedly be a few friends from the SXBottleShare present, some of them arriving earlier than me trying to drink all the Cloudwater cask (who are these guys anyway?)!

Off to The Emerald Isle for the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Festival which is taking place between 23rd and 25th Feb, I'll be there for all of it. However, this does mean I miss the National winter Ale Festival in Norwich and Craft Beer Rising in London, both of which would most certainly have been on my radar. That being said I am very much looking forward to this one, especially after my visit to Dublin last November. Also, catching up with the Irish Beer Snobs is always fun, see you soon guys.

Ok, well that's looking pretty good so far, 2 in Jan and 2 in Feb. Question is, what about March?

There is the London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival in Kings Cross, but, unfortunately it is far from being a favourite of mine, I think having to leave during the afternoon to return again later annoyed me, lost my enthusiasm during the break.

March could be dry from a festival point of view........oh well, there's always Wetherspoons, where every day is a beer festival!! (Where did I put those 50p vouchers??)

PS - Thanks for the picture Clayton.

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