Wetherby Food Festival, 10th to 12th July

RudgateI visited Wetherby Food Festival, a three-day event this year, on the Sunday afternoon. Three quid to get in and a pound for children, plus £1.50 parking. I’m hoping it was for charity, a lot of the helpers were from Wetherby Lions and the web site has a button for the 2015 charity, but nothing behind it? I suspect it’s not as charitable as it might seem, there’s a similar event billed in Horsforth  on the same web site? If it’s not for a charitable cause then I’m not that impressed as it could have just been a bit more professional. Having said that the several thousand people present were all having a good time.

Hog roastThe most disappointing thing for me was the lack of local producers. Okay, a lot were from within a 25 mile radius, but what I was looking for amongst the one hundred or so trade stands was a hard-line local theme. I’d probably got a farmers market, local produce thing in my own mind, coupled with a profusion of street food vendors. In reality it was neither, there were twenty-nine food vendors and seventy-four other stalls, including a couple of motor dealers? Anyway, rant over, it was a good day out and I had a couple of nice ‘gluten free’ samosas (Really Indian Ltd) and a decent chicken tikka /kebab wrap (Indian Delights). Best company name had to be the Bernie Bumm sauce company, not sure I want to try any though.
Wetherby food festOkay, if you’re thinking what has this got to do with a beer blog? Well, I like food too, and there was some beer, and other drinks besides. Top marks to Mason’s Yorkshire Gin, really refreshing, distinctive gin, from Yorkshire. I nearly bought a bottle for what I thought was a very reasonable £12.50 until Mrs C pointed out the bottle size, ‘I want a proper 70cl bottle please … how much?’ I guess you get what you pay for though.

The second biggest disappointment was the beer tent. No problem with everything being Rudgate brewery, that’s cool, they’re pretty local and turn out some reasonable ales, I had a nice pint of Rudgate IPA. Only thing was everyone had to wait an age to get served. Principally because they only seemed to have one lager tap which was fobbing badly and the amateur bar staff just couldn’t cope or work out what to do. They could have shouted out for those wanting real ale to make a separate queue and got on with serving us instead of making everyone wait behind the lager drinkers, while they teemed and ladled pints of Jorvik lager froth.

QueingThe highlight for me? Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery, a family run business who were doing wine and beer tasting. They really made us welcome, so I’m going to do a separate post on them.

Would I go again? Probably, if the sun was shining. Don’t go late though, a few vendors had packed up and others were winding down as we left at four o’clock, yet people were still getting charged to come in.

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