It’s over for another year and we already miss it! This year the Chester Charity Beer Festival was bigger and better than its predecessors and make no mistake – it was a belter.
First held in 1989, this is probably one of, if not the longest serving beer festival in Chester… and arguably the best. You’ve got 130+ real ales, craft beers, ciders and perries to choose from and if you’re so inclined, there’s some wine on offer as well.
But we weren’t there for wine! We were there to drink copious amounts of beer and maybe shake our moneymakers to the tunes of some top talent on the stage.
If memory serves right, the beer selection was wider this year than it’s ever been before. It more than likely was more varied than before anyway. And at least, we drank more of it than ever before. Some of the best ones we enjoyed were White Tips from Siren Craft, a white IPA brewed with orange, lime and grapefruit peel and Dark Alliance from Moor Brewery, a hoppy coffee stout originally brewed as a collaboration with Arbor Ales. There were some notable others at the keg section too, including a rather incredible sour, but the names elude us. Somehow, note making went on the back burner after the first few beers. Funny that.
The entertainment was top notch as well this year. The yard of ale was as entertaining as ever and this year we were almost convinced to take part in it (we didn’t, though. We came to our senses in the end) but have to confess that probably could not have come ever close to the 13 or so seconds the winner managed. We also shook our booties to the rocking tunes of the Fortune Sellers, who just so happened to be our wedding band a little over a year ago and also obviously the best band on the stage. Sorry, we know we’re biased, but we’re OK with that.
What we really like about the Chester Charity Beer Fest is that every year they grow, not just on how many beers the offer but how varied the styles are. Every year they stride to make themselves bigger and better than the year before and every year they achieve that, only to try and top that achievement next year. There’s nothing we like more than progressive beer lovers who also give back to the community, and these guys deserve all the pats on the back you can give them.
Countdown for next year is on. Tick tock.