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Thousands expected at York Beer and Cider Festival
YORKSHIRE’s thriving real ale industry turned out in York yesterday for the opening of the city’s biggest-ever beer and cider festival.
The four-day event at Knavesmire, organised by York CAMRA, is showcasing 320 beers and 100 ciders, and expects to attract more than the 7,000 people who attended last year.
Melissa Reed, organiser of the festival, said they expected more people because they had opened a day earlier than previous years.
“We hope we will get even more people than last year to come and enjoy themselves, try beers and ciders they haven’t had before and have a great time.”
She also said the trade session, which was an important event for publicans to find new beers and breweries, was better attended thanks to being held later in the day, after the lunchtime rush.
Many new brews and recently-started breweries near York were successful in the LocAle Awards, in which beers from breweries based within a 25-mile radius of York were judged in different categories.
Elvington -based brewery Hop Studio, which started in April, won the Standard Bitter category with White Rose, a special it brewed for Yorkshire Day on August 1.
Dave Shaw, founder, said they had come to the festival mainly as a fact-finding mission to see what made award-winning breweries. “We’re totally gobsmacked,” he said.
Collingham Brewery’s Artisan’s Choice won Best Bitter; Kirkstall’s Dissolution IPA won Premium Bitter; and Rudgate Brewery of Tockwith’s York Chocolate Stout won Speciality Beer.
Knaresborough’s American-style Milk Stout won both the Strong Beers category and LocAle beer of the festival, and Burnout, a collaboration between Pocklington’s Brass Castle Brewery and the University of York ’s Real Ale Society, won the Porters and Stout category.
Burnout, a smoked porter, is the first beer brewed by the university society, whose Sam McNamara said: “We had a feeling we were onto a winner with Brass Castle. They are such a good brewery and their beer Bad Kitty won last year.”
He said the society adapted an American recipe to incorporate British Goldings hops and hoped it would be the first of many collaborations with local brewers.
Other beers on offer at the event, which runs until Sunday, September 23, include Rudgate Brewery’s Scoop, a special beer brewed to celebrate The Press’s 130th anniversary.