I went along early on the opening night to get a look before the crowds descended. An hour before the doors opened, there were a few final adjustments being made but the organisers and their volunteers had enough time to get together for a team huddle and a quick half to settle their nerves. You could sense that despite their experience in the industry they were feeling the responsibility of creating and delivering Headingley’s first independent beer festival, and I know that they wanted to get this right and ensure it becomes an annual event. As an outsider to the whole process, I could tell they had nothing to worry about.
There were 46 casks of ale and 7 ciders on offer, all of which were brewed in Yorkshire, and a queue of thirsty people at the door before the ribbon was cut at 4pm. A recipe for success. The weekend was supported by Revolutions Brewery, Arcadia Bar and Kirkstall Brewery. In turn the festival was supporting one of the regions charities – West Yorkshire Macmillan Cancer Care.
With live music, a book signing by Simon Jenkins and gourmet pies fuelling the efforts, it was hardly surprising that there were only 11 casks of beer remaining for the weekend warriors turning up on the Sunday afternoon. Kirkstall delivered a couple more casks and I understand that the festivities made it through to 9pm as planned.
Beer of the Festival, as judged by the discerning public, was Ridgeside Brewery’s Black Night, a 5% abv porter . Runners up places went to Kirkstall Brewery’s Dissolution IPA, Brass Castle Brewery’s Bad Kitty and Ilkley Brewery’s Mary Christmas. You can view the full beer list here.
Congratulations to Ruth and Kevin for delivering a brilliant event and we all hope to see the 2nd Headingley Beer Festival in 2012. You can follow their updates on Twitter @HeadingleyAle.
More Photos of the 1st Headingley Beer Festival
1st Headingly Beer Festival
St Michael’s Parish Hall
St Michael’s Road
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