Skip to main content

Tameside Beer Festival 2013

Now becoming an annual event, the third Tameside Beer Festival (housed in the Civic Hall in Stalybridge) took place this weekend again. I’d been to both previous events and, whilst the first was a bit of a swift haze before this blog existed, I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s so much I did a short post about it. I always feel a need to promote festivals, especially the smaller, local ones that are as well run as this.
As the festival is only held on a Friday and Saturday and is purely for charitable reasons, arranged by the local Rotary Club in Ashton-Under-Lyne, there’s no silly “trade day” or weekday event that empties the hall of the best beers before any regular Joe’s have had chance to set foot in the door. In fact, for a group who are not accustomed to organising such events, the rotary club do an excellent job of running a fair and smooth festival. Entry is a standard £3 that INCLUDES the programme. Beer tokens come in simple £1.25 form, as that is the price for a half of EVERY beer on offer. The glass isn’t a silly commemorative one that nobody wants and holds a simple £1 deposit. Lord how much more enjoyable it is to peruse over a programme of beer notes you haven’t had to pay for additionally (*cough* NWAF *cough.*)
So once we were peacefully sat with our first half (mine was a Salopian Brewery Shropshire Gold) we were greeted by one of the organisers, who was a lovely chap and sat with us for some time, though unfortunately his name escapes me. He spoke of his pride of how far some people had travelled for this rather low key festival and how keen some breweries, including Stalybridge’s own Ticketybrew, had been to get involved. Everything was friendly, relaxed and hassle free and that is what these events do best.
Let's not forget how we all judge every ale festival, on the half pint measurements. Unlike the farcical Huddersfield festival last October, this jaunt was particularly generous with it's half pints.
Aside from this, the festival was very similar to the previous year. The food offered was the same and the majority of breweries represented were the same, albeit with slightly different beers. Whilst this isn’t a criticism, it gave the feeling of a lesser experience overall. Similar breweries, who make good beer, yet seemed to have brought less examples to the party. Some of my party were more excited about Bradley’s Bakery returning, with their great range of pies. However, this year they appeared to bring less of a choice and then, subsequently, packed up much earlier. And, if I wanted to be a tad critical, of the 36 beers brought in, only 5 were not of the very pale, floral and hoppy variety; a bit of a disappointment for stout lovers.
Still, I enjoyed trying a good variety and, for the first time ever at a festival, bothered to mark beers based on the recognised CAMRA score system. In order I drank,
Northern Brewing Company – Jewel IPA 4.6% (3.5)
Allgates Brewery – California 3.8% (4)
Derventio Brewery – Cleopatra 5.0% (4)
Brunswick Brewery – Father Mike 5.8% (4)
Ironbridge – Iron Bridge Pale Ale 4.0% (2.5)
Oakham – Inferno 4.0% (3.5)
Titanic Brewery – Cappuccino Stout 4.5% (3.5)
The highlights for me were the Allgates California and the Derventio Cleopatra, although I do love a good Abbeydale beer but know Deception well.
Another really well organised and joyous festival. With a month before Indy Man Beer Con, it was really nice to be reminded of a good, wholesome, canteen-style but friendly local beer festival. I hope it returns for many years and that I can keep supporting it. Another reminder of what brought me to be a Real Ale drinker in the first place.


Popular posts from this blog

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

LIVERPOOL - the City that Craft Beer Forgot Part II (and found...)

After visiting Liverpool, one of my favourite cities, in February this year, and not impressing people with my rather hasty but honest verdict on the city’s lack of craft beer, I jumped at the chance to return last week and hoped to come out with a more attractive judgement. A couple of friends and I visited on a day out, with neither of them having been drinking in the city before. It was left to me – or rather, I volunteered – to plan the day’s itinerary and places to visit. I had a couple of new or unvisited places in mind myself, but knew it would be unfair to miss out on some of the city’s famous gems. With around 10-12 hours in which to fit in an entire city, I opted to concentrate on the famous Georgian Quarter and see if we had time for the Dale Street end later on.    We planned to arrive in the city for around 11a.m. just in time to walk up Mount Pleasant to the new-on-me, though I believe it has been opened three years, Clove Hitch on Hope Street for breakfast.