It’s usually the traditional curtain raiser to the new ale year, but this year they moved it back a week. Bit of a shame for football fans from Liverpool as we both played our games during the week so no-one would have missed a game last week – and today… well, Liverpool and Everton play today. Grr.
The day started poorly with an early wake up due to the baying winds pulsating through the north of Liverpool. So not as much sleep as I would have liked. Still, onwards and upwards. Bus to town and the preferred start of the day on a beer trip… a full English at the Shiraz on Williamson Square.
As usual we get there too early for the start of the beer festival which opens its doors at noon, so it was in to the brilliant Helter Skelter.
With only two staff working we lucky to get in before the rest of coach and didn’t have to wait too long. Need to get out to Frodsham again sometime for the pubs – Kash is on the other side of the road too, but didn’t open until 12 as well.
We were quickly into the festival for the princely sum of £1 (with the £1 CAMRA discount). As with the previous year they had no food on, but you could bring in your own stuff from home or bought locally. With the Shiraz impact still fresh it wasn’t an issue for your truly.
There were 26 ales on from 26 different breweries – although there were quite a few beers from Cheshire they weren’t all local. Indeed there were several ales from Scotland on.
My favourite ale – which sold out while I was there – was Hop Studio (Yorkshire) ‘Fire and Ice’ I also enjoyed the Fixed Wheel ‘Blackheath Stout’ from the midlands. It was the only stout on. There was an interesting sounding wheat beer which had gone already on Friday called ‘Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!’ which it turns out wasn’t Wilfred Owen but actually Brewing 8 Miles High. Would have liked to have given it a go.
Had to pop next door to watch the Liverpool game second half (Liverpool beat Sunderland, and no beach balls, Huzzah!).
None of the beers jumped out as unmissable. But, as always, it was nice to kick off the traditional start of the beer festival year.
After Frodsham it was on to Appleton Thorn Village Hall for the always fabulous beers on offer there. It continually gains awards and for good reason. If you’re ever passing you must try and pop in – preferably with a designated driver in tow. Fab.