Was this year's Harrogate Beer Festival the best ever?

Pictured at Harrogate Beer Festival last weekend are Rob Burns, David Hazelwood and and Steve Turner. (1703183AM6)
Pictured at Harrogate Beer Festival last weekend are Rob Burns, David Hazelwood and and Steve Turner. (1703183AM6)
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Review: 27th annual Harrogate Beer Festival, Crown Hotel, Harrogate.

Ostensibly, they were only there for the beer but the 27th annual Harrogate Beer Festival offered plenty of other things to the hundreds of visitors who packed out the Crown Hotel.

Things like, good wine, cider and gin. not to forget good chat and great live music.

A fun but thoroughly civilised affair, hard-working organisers Harrogate Round Table said they were delighted that last weekend’s event had proven a big hit once again.

It certainly looked like the best one yet to the Harrogate Advertiser.

Beer Festival chairman Carl Cowgill said: “The festival was a huge success. I received some fantastic feedback from our guests.

“Each night the bands in the Victoria suite had the crowds jumping. White Van Man were brilliant and closed the festival in style with a sea of arms in the air.”

The aim of each year’s festival is to raise money for the local charities supported by Harrogate Round Table.

Last year the total raised reached a whopping £27,000.

Carl Cowgill said it was too early to tell how much would go this year to the chosen charities which included Carers Resource, Time Together, Special Care Baby Unit, Martin House and National Autistic Society (Harrogate branch).

Carl said: “We are in profit, which is the important thing, and we should have a healthy sum to donate to our charities. But we can’t release the figures until we have done all the sums.”

Local breweries featured strongly in terms of both cask and keg beer, among them Daleside, Theakston’s, Badco, Roosters, Hambletons and Black Sheep.

This year’s chairman Carl Cowgill made a number of changes to this year’s Harrogate Beer Festival which ran from last Thursday to Saturday. And they all seemed to pay off.

He said: “People said how good the new layout was in the Cask Room with the rectangular bar in the centre. The extra seating was also a welcome addition. Our Gin room was packed all three nights. I don’t think Harrogate has any gin or tonic left!”

“I even heard one guest comment on the way out that the Prosecco Room was better than her last trip to Ibiza.”

As ever in these sort of things, it was a team effort and the support of the event’s sponsors and volunteers from Harrogate Round Table and their families was invaluable.

Carl Cowgill said: “I must say a huge thank you, in particular, to Hamilton from Daleside Brewery and Jonathan from Theakston’s brewery.

“And Ake & Humphris spoilt us once again with a superb selection of wines.”

Organisers helped promote the festival with a series of ‘takeover’ nights at Harrogate bars, including newly-opened Starling Independent Beer & Coffee House on Oxford Street the night before it started.