The Stables Brewery, Beamish Hall Hotel - John Taylor digs out the mash
BEAMISH Hall is used to organising successful events, but even they must be impressed by how well-received their event this weekend has been.
And, of course, it’s to do with good old beer. The Beamish Hall Second Winter Beer Festival, tonight and tomorrow, to be precise. And tomorrow sold out quickly.
As well it might – there are a staggering 72 beers and 20 ciders including some that will be harder to find elsewhere, such as Vale Brewery’s beers from Buckinghamshire, with whom The Stables (Beamish Hall’s microbrewery) has a reciprocal agreement, as well as offerings from The Stables itself.
Over the past year, I’ve featured several beer festivals, and they’ve served as examples of how beer can be a power to the good, bringing communities together and raising money for worthy projects.
Beamish Hall entered the fray with their own offering in 2009 and showed faith in the project by introducing the winter version last year, so all power to them.
John Taylor, head brewer at the microbrewery says: “We were encouraged to run a larger annual event due to the increase in visitors to our annual beer and music festival.
“It makes sense to celebrate our local produce and you can’t get more local than brewed on the doorstep. Our beer will be moved from our microbrewery to the next room.”
Tomorrow is sold out but, tonight, the festival opens at 5pm until midnight.
THE brewers at Tyne Bank are hoping to provoke better weather with their latest brew.
The innovative brewery is intending to make the snow realise it has outstayed its welcome by brewing the light, summery Pacifica (4%), named after the New Zealand hop. And, taking the classic beer and pie match to the next level, the Red House is making lamb pies with it, to go with the NZ theme. Pacifica will actually be made with four hops, carefully chosen to hopefully ensure supply throughout the year. Some beers have to become seasonal due to the limited supply of the hops they use, but the quadrality of more widely-available hops Cascade (sourced from America), Galaxy (US), Pacifica (NZ) and Summit (Australia) could hopefully turn it into a crafty regular to complement Tyne Bank’s more sessional offerings. It launches on January 26 at the Red House and Lady Grey’s.
Also worth looking forward to is the 6% mocha milk stout in collaboration with Pumphrey’s Coffee, which is supplying Brazilian beans. It will feature more traditional coffee flavours compared with their other coffee beer, Piccolo Black, a black IPA which cleverly focused on the lime flavours of the Yirgacheffe coffee bean.
THE CAMRA Pub of the Year awards have been announced, unofficially officially, at least.
What should have been a joyfully swift announcement following CAMRA’s meeting on Tuesday evening has rumbled on, with an announcement of winners before the vote count has been finalised. Some votes are still being verified to check they are from current members, although secretary Richard Dollimore said the numbers involved are unlikely to change the results.
There were also questions raised over whether all members received their voting forms through the post. Some members said they had not received one, something which was denied by Mr Dollimore. “I think that’s a complete fallacy. Some people say they haven’t received CAMRA information for a couple of years so they are using their membership numbers not realising they are no longer members.”
I will feature the winners in next week’s column once the count checks have been completed.