Breweries from across the country have signed up to submit beers for the first ever WoodFest, a weekend festival celebrating beers served from traditional wooden casks.
The 2017 SPBW (Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood) WoodFest is set to run from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July at the Horse and Jockey pub, Castleford.
Home to the Lagentium Brewery – the first brewery to have a wooden mash tun installed for the purpose of brewing since 1914 – this will be the first recognised festival celebrating beers from the wood and will feature a large variety of beers from brewers spanning the North, South, Midlands and Northern Ireland.
As more brewers and publicans revert back to the traditional use of wooden casks the festival will look to seize on mounting public appetite for wood conditioned beer.
Attendees from as far as Norway have already confirmed their interest, with members from the SPBW Chesapeake Bay branch in California also making the trip across.
Festival organiser Robin Shacklock commented: “Wood casks have been the traditional method for conditioning and storing of beers but for many decades it took a back seat to metal and plastic.
“Today there is a big interest in wooden casks as a container for beer with an upsurge that has led to many brewers sending beer to publicans in wooden barrels and, as a result, saving the ancient craft of the cooper, and the cask.”
The festival, running in conjunction with sponsors Irwin Mitchell, will feature three days of events with the championship beer to be awarded on Thursday and talks from special guests to be announced.
Friday and Saturday will have a wide range of cask beers from the wood available throughout the day.
WoodFest comes on the back of the remarkable success of The Junction licensees Neil Midgley and Maureen Shaw, who have transformed the pub since it was re-opened in 2010 into a Mecca for beers from the wood enthusiasts.
From humble beginnings it has grown into an award-winning pub which is due in no small part to its USP, that all the real ales are served from wooden casks.
Neil has built up his own collection of wooden barrels over the years which he sends out to (mainly local) brewers to be filled.
There is limited space at the WoodFest 2017 and only a ticket bought in advance will guarantee entry. All tickets are now on sale as a pre-festival order via the festival website.
Keep up-to-date with all announcements by follow the 2017 Woodfest on Twitter or Facebook.
FULL LIST OF CONFIRMED BREWERS
|BOX SOXIAL||NORTH EAST|
|DOG AND RABBIT||NORTH EAST|
|HADRIAN BORDER||NORTH EAST|
|MOURNE MOUNTAIN||NORTHERN IRELAND|
|THREE KINGS||NORTH EAST|
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Society of the Preservation of Beers from the Wood was founded in 1963 on the back of a growing decline in both quality and palatability of beer. The founding members felt this was due to the increasing use of gas pressure dispense and the introduction of keg beers. They deplored the policies of the big brewers who, by forcing the sale of beer from ‘sealed dustbins’ were threatening the availability of traditional draught beer.
The organisation aims to:
(a) to stimulate the brewing and encourage the drinking of traditional draught beer, drawn direct from the cask by gravity, or by a hand pump, or by other methods approved by the National Executive Committee (this includes bottle conditioned beer).
(b) To lend support to those brewers who, by their policy, assist in the implementation of the Society’s aims.
(c) To discourage the brewing and sale of beer termed ‘draught’, but served otherwise than described above and to discourage its consumption.
(d) Although the Society does not specifically campaign for the use of wooden casks for beer dispense, it supports and encourages breweries and pubs that use them and coopers that produce them.
WOODFEST 2017 is a ticket-only cask beers from the wood festival due to space limitations. All tickets will be on sale as a pre-festival order. Ticket holders will be notified by email and will be checked in during the festival sessions. Beer tokens (and other festival items) will be on sale inside the venue at the SPBW stall.
The admission price will be £2:50.
Tickets are on sale at our ONLINE SHOP
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INITIAL FESTIVAL PACKAGE:
Festival souvenir glass, programme and beer token: £5:00
Beer tokens can be purchased at £1.50 each (minimum spend two tokens £3.00). One beer token is used to buy a half pint of beer (1/3 pint for the higher strength beers).
Tombola tickets: £1:00. Different prizes on different days.
Festival souvenir glasses: £2.50.
Festival programmes: £1:00