I dropped into Mr Foley's over the weekend to see how the Beer Festival was going. With a second bar rigged up in the back room, this gave us interested drinkers a chance to enjoy some different ales to the norm in decent surroundings (I really didn't miss the sports-hall vibe)!!
Despite missing the 'Meet the Brewer' event, Andy Whalley (York Brewery), was more than happy to spend an hour or with myself discussing many topics from the USA craft beer scene to how the beer industry are coping with the (temporary, we hope) hop shortage. And a very nice bloke he was too, showing the enthusiasm one would expect from one of the main men at York.
Dean, the manager of Foley's, explained that the festival was going very well, and hopefully we should see more of the same in the upcoming year. Ale sales are going strong too, as evidenced by the addition (at the expense of Lager taps) of yet more pumps dedicated to beer. And the beer itself? Well, of the many sampled over the weekend, Dean recommended Vale Breweries Black Swan - an excellent mild; full of big roasted-malt flavour and a dry hoppiness. Despite being perfectly happy to have stayed on this all evening, I jumped over to the Red Squirrell London Porter; another excellent example of the style - big red fruit and chocolate character with a sharp dryness coming through. Dark Side of the Moose was as excellent as ever, and Kelham's pale and fruity Golden Eagle made the 'Friday after-work pint' slot all its own.
The festival runs all week, so get yourself down there and try something different.