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Could it be magic?
GAVIN AITCHISON rounds up this week’s news from the pub scene.
WHAT’S the point? Many will have asked that at some time or another, perhaps while staring into a pint pot. And many more will be asking it next Saturday, at the most pointless beer festival going.
I’m not being mean when I say that; the organisers readily admit it. Why, they’ve even called it the “What’s the point?” beer festival.
If that all sounds a bit melancholic or downbeat, fear not. No, it’s all just a great big play on words.
You see, the festival is a special charity venture aimed at raising money for the restoration of the venue itself, with a particular focus on, wait for it, re-pointing the brickwork. You see? Boom boom!
Stillingfleet Village Institute is where it’s all happening, from noon next Saturday until the barrels run dry, and there are some pretty decent barrels there to be enjoyed.
There will be 12 beers in total on the list, but the highlight for the real enthusiasts will be probably the first brew of Brown Cow Brewery’s special Diamond Jubilee beer – so fresh that it’s not even been given a proper name yet.
Brown Cow is helping to organise the event so ought to be well-placed to ensure all the beer is in good nick.
After all, if they can’t get that right, well – what’s the point?
The Arriva 42 bus from York stops just outside the festival venue. Admission is a fiver, which includes a festival glass for the first 250 people, a programme, and a voucher for the first drink. There will also be food, wine and soft drinks available, plus live music.
• THE Windmill in Blossom Street, York, has reopened after a major refurbishment.
This pub has undergone a few changes of management in the past few years, but looks more sleek and polished now than before, and will hopefully finally be a success.
It’s long been a big sports pub, and I was drawn in by a message they sent out on twitter on Tuesday, promoting the football on TV and their grill night.
In the end, work dragged on and I arrived too late for either, but it was a welcome chance to take a look at the place nonetheless.
On the bar were Hobgoblin, Black Sheep, Carling, John Smith’s, Stella, Guinness and Beck’s, although there’s also a big focus on the non-beer side of things, including 12 cocktails on offer.
• THERE will be mysterious goings on at the Black Swan in Peasholme Green tomorrow night.
Local magician Ian J Lea is putting on a show for 30 people, mixing magic, storytelling and – he says – “special feats from a bygone era”. Guests pay what they deem appropriate.
Curious Tales and Other Mysteries made its debut on York’s Arts Barge last summer.
Ian, who has been practising since he was seven, says the show is interactive and should connect with people at a personal level.
Places are strictly limited and must be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org It all sounds rather intriguing. So far, the only thing I’ve ever had disappear in the pub is my wages, but hopefully there will be more unexplained goings-on tomorrow.
• TALKING of refurbished pubs – the Fulford Arms is still going from strength to strength, and is having a beer festival this weekend.
There will be 16 beers on over the course of this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, drinkers will then give the beer the heave-ho and instead take part in a tug-of-war against a team from the Waggon and Horses in Lawrence Street.
They’ll be down by the Millennium Bridge from around 3pm if you want to watch.
Follow Gav on twitter @pintsofview