This past weekend marked the annual Bradford Beer festival in Saltaire’s Victoria Hall, it’s pretty much tradition now for us to descend upon the quaint village and make the most of the beery hospitality whilst it’s there.
“Must be a rugby game in Skipton...” I heard murmured on the train as it left the station, this year it seems most of Leeds invaded with us as well. Emptying the Skipton bound train onto the small Saltaire platform...
Your basic beer festival will have several standard components but Bradford definitely puts them all together into much more of a show than some of the other events on the calendar.
Alongside the Beers and Ciders you have a Brass Band and Morris Dancing. Games of skill, Tombola’s and old fashioned grub.
I have a hazy recollection of eating a Pork Pie and Mushy Peas at one point during the day. It’s just basically a good excuse to drink lot's of different beer and have a good chance to catch up with mates. Did I mention the beer?
This year there were over 20 of us but as with a lot of the events of the day, the details are mired in the fug of alcohol. Now it must be said I did go out with good intentions and I was under instructions not to come home drunk. I failed sadly...
One of my very good friends was over from Holland, he’s an ex-pat and had brought a couple of his Dutch mates over on a cultural exchange to gain a better understanding of Yorkshire life. So in all fairness we had to have a good drink to show them what it’s all about.
Also after a couple of hours the drinking games started; namely Scorpion! one of the guys had won a toy on the tombola and if dropped said toy into your pint glass without you noticing you had to drink your beer in one.
My top picks of the day included Rosie’s Triple D cider made in Llandegla near Wrexham, this was dangerously easy drinking and slipped down like juice but at 7.2% it was one to keep an eye on.
Salamanders Puppet Master was a great little brew. Salamander is based in Bradford so this was fresh as a daisy and really good drinking.
From a little further afield the Herren Pils German lager was fantastic and the Belgian Mc Chouffe definitely topped the rest as my favourite of the day.
It was a dark beer with Bitter notes that came in a Champagne bottle. This gnome beer was the Dutchies recommendation and at 8% it was strong enough to finish me off.
The festival kicked out at half 4 and we trotted down to canal for a pint before the train but by this time my eyes had just begun to glaze over and things were getting quite hazy.
We made it back into Leeds and popped to the sports bar to catch the rugby league and met up with a few more of the guys but I was done in.
I jumped into a cab and went home to be greeted in the hallway by the Lady heading out for the night at least I didn’t have to worry about feeling guilty for being in bed for 9 then!