BEERTOWN 2017: An Insider’s View
Today, we’re welcoming Bad Seed Brewery’s Chris Waplington to the Brewtown blog to talk to us about the BEERTOWN festival, running from May 18th – 20th in the Yorkshire food capital of Malton.
“The dates are set and the countdown has begun to BEERTOWN 2017. This is the fourth year we have run BEERTOWN together with Brass Castle and it gives us a great opportunity to let our hair down and showcase some great beers from all over the world.
“The run-up to the festival is one of my favourite times of the year, but that’s not to say it’s not hard work! Without a dedicated events team, we organise everything around the day to day running of both breweries. As you can imagine this can present some logistical challenges. However, our shared ethos and passion for full flavoured beers from independent breweries means that when we do get together it is always productive.
“Strange as it might sound when planning a beer festival the last thing we think about is beer! There is plenty of planning to be done before we get to the best bit…picking lots of tasty beers.
“We believe a great festival needs four key elements:
1) Venue. We base the festival in the Milton Rooms right in the heart of Malton and this great building offers the ideal space to bring the festival to the town. Malton looks to be Yorkshire’s food capital and we are really proud to be part of a town that is so supportive to both breweries and other artisan food producers.
2) Food. A key part of BEERTOWN as far too many festivals have an awesome beer list which is let down by awful food. There is no chance of that at BEERTOWN. This year we have brought together four great local food traders, Street Cleaver, Wood Fire Dine, Malton Relish and Little Somboon Kitchen. From spicy tofu ramen and wood-fired pizza to sausage rolls and BBQ, there is something to please everyone.
3) Live music. To makes sure BEERTOWN goes with a swing we have live music on the Friday and Saturday sessions. We’re really pleased that two of our favourite acts from last year, Miles Gilderdale and the Blue Flies and Radio Silence, will be joining us again this year. The Jeromes will be headlining on Friday and The Black Marcs will be travelling down from Newcastle to play a set on Saturday afternoon. However, I’m probably most excited about newcomers to the music scene Ginchy Stardust, 4 o’clock Saturday 20th May. Cameron, half of the duo has just started his own brewery in Kirbymoorside, Turning Point. We will have one of his beers on the bar so you can listen to Cameron play whilst sampling his beer. Being serenaded by a brewer makes BEERTOWN a pretty unique experience!
4) Finally, but most importantly, the beer! BEERTOWN is the place to be to find the best range of Bad Seed and Brass Castle beers. Both breweries will be showcasing their latest specials and core range favourites. As well as our own beers, we look to display the best beers from across the UK. We’ll have beers from Yorkshire breweries BrewYork, Northern Monk, North Brew Co, Magic Rock and from further afield The Kernel and Brew By Numbers from London, Tiny Rebel in Newport and Verdant from Falmouth. For BEERTOWN we are also on an international quest for incredible beer. Brass Castle has imported the Table IPA from Notch Brewing in Boston which will be available on cask. Barely any American beer makes it across to the UK in cask, so BEERTOWN will be a great opportunity to try some. Plus we’re bringing in two beers from Pirate Life in Australia, the ultra-hoppy IIPA and a rich smooth Stout.
One of my favourite things about working in the beer industry is how collaborative it is. We are all drawn together by a shared passion for beer; working with the thing you love is incredibly rewarding. The UK beer scene is unbelievably vibrant, there has never been a more exciting time to be a drinker. We’re good friends with many brewers and we look to include as many as possible. The only problem is when we ask each of them which beer they’d like to showcase every single one replied “Our Double IPA-just 11%abv and SOOOOO hoppy!”. If they were to have their way BEERTOWN would just be wall to wall Double IPAs!!
Whilst we will have a couple of Double IPAs (including one from Australia) we’ll also have a great range that shows how diverse beer can be. We’ll have a Kaffir Lime Saison, a Mango Pale, a barrel-aged sour and even a stout with Skittles in it! (Yes you read that right!). When you combine that with incredible street food and awesome live music I think you can understand why I can’t wait for BEERTOWN2017 -I hope to see you there.