Last weekend’s Skipton Beer Festival broke all records. Over 2200 customers attended the CAMRA event and virtually drank it dry. The festival was busy all the way through with only a short period on Saturday afternoon when people had to queue to get in.
An increase in the number of hand pumps meant that more cask beer could be accommodated and still every last drop of the 6300 pints of real ale were gone when the festival closed at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Beer of the Festival as decided by customer votes was Drop Hammer, the strongest beer at the festival at 10%, brewed by Kirkstall Brewery in Leeds. Joint 2nd place went to 2 more dark beers: Old Bear brewery from Keighley’s Black Mari’a and Bingham’s Ginger Doodle Stout. The first beer to run out was Mainline IPA from the recently opened Settle Brewery.
Having sold out last year. more cider and perry were ordered. 500 pints were consumed, many in thirds of a pint, allowing customers to sample a greater range. Emporium Press cider, produced at Naylor’s brewery in Cross Hills, won the public vote for cider of the festival.
Many of Skipton’s tourist accommodation providers were fully booked at the weekend, due to the beer festival, and the town’s pubs also benefitted from the influx of real ale drinkers.
A CAMRA spokesperson said: “Although we are all exhausted after a busy week, it has all been worthwhile to see so many people enjoying themselves sampling real ales and ciders”. One feedback form said “Came into Town Hall out of rain in 2012 – flew back from Australia to avoid missing 2013. Brilliant production of brilliant products. Funny how the folk at these events are all decent people, when we hear of so many awful examples of base behaviour. Keep the fires burning and the Independents flourishing. See you in 2014.”