Organisers of the 10th annual Pocktoberfest have scoured the length and breadth of Britain to ensure that this year’s line-up of over 50 beers is something truly special.
The award-winning Pocklington microbrewers Brass Castle have again taken on responsibility for selecting and sourcing scores of high quality cask ales, ciders, lagers and keg ales. And their efforts have paid off spectacularly, with a host of new breweries providing tipples to suit every beer-drinker’s palate.
This year sees strong representation from Scotland, thanks in no small part to the recent proliferation of microbreweries north of the border, a thriving industry producing some of the country’s most highly-respected and award-winning breweries.
Brass Castle’s Ian Goodall said: “The fact we’ve been able to source beers from such as Highland Brewery from the Orkneys, including their award-winning Scapa Special; and Fyne Ales, including Jarl, which was runner-up at this year’s Champion Beer of Britain CAMRA competition, will make many beer aficionados drool with expectation.
“Isle of Sky, Loch Ness (their Spookyness beer is timely), Loch Lomond and Alechemy are also quality breweries producing many very interesting beers – Loch Ness have already had their beers on tap at one pub in Pocklington.”
Brass Castle’s ability to deal directly with breweries rather than through third parties has not only helped keep the festival’s operating costs down, but also enabled them to source from much further afield. While there continues to be a strong focus on existing and new breweries across Yorkshire, 2013 will also showcase a range of beers from across the north-east and south-east.
“We have beers from Dark Star, whose their Espresso coffee porter should go down well; Five Points Brewery from London; Hastings Brewery, another vegan brewery like ourselves; and Anarchy from Newcastle, whose Smoke Bomb will challenge many with its distinctive smokey style,” added Ian.
Meanwhile, for every beer sold, Cullercoats Brewery near Newcastle will donate 3p to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - one of Pocktoberfest’s selected national charities for this year.
“We’re also happy to again feature again beers from Offbeat Brewery in Crewe, where brewster Michelle’s ‘Raspberry Way Out Wheat’ beer garnered high praise at the recent CAMRA Great British Beer Festival,” added Ian.
Locally, Brough’s Big River Brewery – which last year produced a special Pocktoberfest ale – will again be present, including their much-awaited ‘Oompah’, while a selection from Elvington’s Hop Studio will also be on tap.
And it just wouldn’t be Pocktoberfest without Brass Castle’s own mind-boggling array of beers, including the ever-popular Bad Kitty porter, which, Ian promised, will not run out as quickly as last year!
“We are also showcasing two very special beers this year,” said Ian. “The first is Wallop, a 7.7% traditional old English ale (a beer style knows as a stingo) that was brewed in March and has been aged in a sherry wood cask, and will be served from the wood.
“The second is ‘Perfect 10’, commemorating Pocktoberfest’s 10th anniversary. This beer has been brewed with fresh hops from Yorkshire Hops near Brough, the first new hop grower in the UK in decades and the first ever in Yorkshire. So with East Riding malted barley and their own yeast, this is a truly ‘local’ ale.
“Ciders are again being sourced from Craft Cider, who are providing a wide selection of 12 different ciders and perries. Their cider tasting bar, which proved very popular last year, will be back on show. Lager and keg ale selections are still being finalised. However we are looking to provide an expanded range of fruit pilsners from the Czech Republic, plus an increase range of quality keg ales from UK breweries,” added Ian.
Pocktoberfest takes place at The Old Railway Station in Pocklington on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October. The line-up includes Richard Hawley, Glenn Tilbrook, Tift Merritt and Boss Caine. Saturday tickets cost £10 and Sunday tickets £38 (£30 under 18s).