My kind of festival: Beards, beer and Bradford

Bradford Beer Festival

Don’t let the post title put you off – you don’t have to have a beard to get in, beer drinking is no longer an old mans game. Companies such as Magic Rock and Camden Town have done a great job of modernising the market and making real ale fashionable again. But whether old or new, there is one thing that seems to unite the brewing community — a sense of humour. And Bradford Beer Festival captures that sentiment perfectly.

Now i’m not going to offer tasting notes, as my choices were purely driven by name,  ‘Costa del Salford: 4.1% brewed by Irwell Works, Ramsbottom’ and ‘Keep Calm and Sup Up: 5.5% courtesy of Junction, Baildon’ being two I can (just about) remember. But don’t worry if beer really isn’t your thing there are plenty of ciders and wines to try out, or just grab yourself a pie and sit back and watch the brass band entertainment – bliss.

However there is one thing you have to try and that’s the tombola. Be warned it’s no ordinary school fair experience though, the prizes are that bad the aim of the game is not to win. I believe ‘winnings’ in previous years have included a nicotine stained smoke alarm and a very well thumbed, wipe clean, book of toilet humour(!)

The festival takes place at the end of February at Victoria Hall, in the beautiful model village of Saltaire (which is well worth a more sober visit too) and I would thoroughly recommend it. Myself and Kath keep going back for more anyway, in fact we have been so many times now that my kitchen cupboard is bursting with the souvenir glasses and beginning to look more like a trophy cabinet (all hard earned trophies of course).

So, see you next year. Make mine a pint of Saltaire blond.

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