East West Fest : 12-14/05/2016

Red Shed sign

So. Here we are. Year 2. And my favourite beer festival of 2015.

Small. Intimate. Friendly. And full of soul.

I was truly flattered when I heard that the first Independent Salford Beer Festival was part of the inspiration for this celebration of Northern beer in 2015. What was even better was the vault of fond memories that I took away from last year. People who were previously acquaintances, now friends.

Good Beer People doing Good Things for Good Causes – this shit really is simple you know.

Held in Wakefield Labour Club about 5 mins walk from Westgate Station (on the East Coast mainline), this is really a small venue (max capacity 70 people) that lends itself to the noble art of friend making, laughing, joking ans swapping tales and tasting notes.

It’s like a 70 strong Untappd meeting. With real people, not keyboard warriors.

No pretence or artifice. No beer snobbery or arsiness. Just people enjoying exclusively (and exclusive!) Great Northern Beer. A subject that any regular reader of this blog will know is bound to tug at my heartstrings.

And the three of us who came over last year had a bloody great time!

I was immensely flattered to be asked again to choose the breweries from the Manchester area and hugely amused to learn that he wanted just breweries located under railway arches. Something that, as any Brewtap denizen will realise, we don’t lack over here. So, I gladly did my bit and I’m chuffed that each brewery I asked agreed to supply a beer.

East West Bar

What Malcolm has done for the White Rose contingent is HUGELY impressive to these eyes. And – given the beer list for Salford last year – I know how much work this is. He has gone for each of the beers to be collaborations. With himself. Now that – as well as running your own business – is bloody hard work. But when you peruse the beer list below, it looks well worth the effort.

So, you have an intimate venue and Good Beer People. But this is also for a couple of good causes.


Candlelighters was founded more than 40 years ago by, and is still run by, parents of children who have or have had cancer and the medical staff who treat them. They help and support children who are diagnosed and their families through diagnosis and treatment at the Childrens Hospital in Leeds.

“Candlelighters is a big family. And like any family, we look after each other. Anyone touched by children’s cancer in Yorkshire, no matter how long ago, is considered a member. Our job? To bring this family together and make sure each person can get the support they need, whether that’s a funded holiday, or just a cup of tea and a chat.”

A fine cause

Newton Hill Cricket Club

“Newton Hill Cricket Club was established in 1902 and has played at its Leeds Road ground since 1926.
We are a small club with big ambitions, and pride ourselves on providing a friendly, safe and enjoyable place for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy cricket.”

The club is local to Malcolm and itself supports a number of good causes.

So what else do you need? Beer. And here’s the mouth-watering list.

East : Beer Collaborations Five Towns & (Brewery)

Brown Cow – Mammatus : Orange Wheat beer 4.5%
Cap House Brewery – Kol : Mild 4.3%
Rat Brewery – Rat Out : Rye IPA 5.8%
Brass Castle – Brass Monkey : Banana Pale Ale 4.3%
Revolutions Brewery – A New England : Golden Pale 4.5%
North Riding Brewery – Rum & Raisin Mild : Mild 4.2%
Wharfedale Brewery – Wharfedale Pale : Pale Ale 4.1%
James & Kirkman – Tickers Delight : IPA 6%
Anonymous – Always Mashing In The Same Car : IPA 7%
Clarks – Belleisle Pale : Pale Ale 4.5%

West : Underneath The Arches

First Chop Ale – Pod : Vanilla Stout 4.2%
Alphabet Brew Company – Hey Buddy : Ginger & Mango IPA 5%
Six O’Clock Beer – P45 Archer Pale 4.5%
Black Jack Brewery – May the 4th be Wit You : Black Wit beer 6%
Runaway Brewery – Summer Saison : Saison 4.2%
Track Brew Co – Mazama : IPA 6%
Beer Nouveau – Peterloo Porter : Porter 4%
Squawk Brewing Company – El Dorado : IPA 6%
Tickety Brew – Dampfbier : Steam beer 4.1%

So. There you have it. Intimate venue. Good Beer People. Good Causes and a simply GREAT looking beer list.

It starts on Thursday evening. So, if can possibly get to Wakefield, you REALLY should.

It’s that good.

But don’t drink all of that Rum & Raisin Mild. Because if you do, I’ll cry.

I’d better pick up my train tickets…..