This year we had a Down on the Farm theme and invited Meanwood Valley Urban Farm to the festival. Sponsors included Saltaire Brewery, Leeds Brewery, Ilkley Brewery, Moorhouse’s Brewery, The Crossed Shuttle, Ison Harrison Solicitors and Kirkstall Brewery.
For all you stats maniacs out there, here are the winners:
From votes received by the festival-goers
Beer of the Festival
1st Harrogate Plum Infused Imperial Stout
2nd Wilde Child Pushing Boundaries
3rd Coach House Banoffee
Mild of the Festival
1st Naylors Toffee Mild
2nd Leeds Midnight Bell
3rd Potbelly Beijing Black
Cider of the Festival
1st Pulp Rhubarb
2nd Pulp Beetroot and Orange
=3rd Millwhites Rum Cask Cider
=3rd Pure North Deanhouse Dry
The attendance this year was the lowest ever recorded in 24 years, the total number of customers over the years is 76,831.
The member / non-member ratio is comparable to last year for all sessions except Saturday dinner when it went significantly down (from 56.06%).
Over 30 new members were signed up. Just over 250 members took advantage of the 15 minutes advance opening and 27 students took up the offer of free entry on Thursday evening both of these are comparable to last year.
All day opening was returned for the second time on Friday, attendance increased on this day by 5.72% compared to last year, overall the festival dropped by 9.70%.
Nearly 150 different cask conditioned beers were on with a choice of over 50 beers was on Saturday evening.
A Locale trail was established and proved overwhelmingly popular with over 200 people completing the trail.
Golden Ales were again the most popular beer style, over 60 were ordered and only 15 left at the end.
Tasting panels sat to decide the Yorkshire and North East representatives in the Champion Beer of Britain in the Porters and Strong Bitter categories.
Leeds Hop Co-op had a selection of Cascade hop plants for sale, dozens of people took advantage of the opportunity to grow their own beer.
The festival has been hosted by Pudsey Civic Hall for 24 years, which has been a great venue and we are sad to leave as the staff, and the memories, are great. Changes at the Hall (Leeds City Council are creating new offices upstairs and access will be limited) plus a desire to move into the city centre means that the festival is on the move. Leeds Beckett University Student Union bar is the preferred venue for 2018, probably early June. It’s a great venue with enthusiastic staff, so there should be new and exciting times ahead!