2023 Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival

Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA are pleased to announce that Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival will return in 2023.

VENUE

A unique, quirky and unusual venue in an historic industrial building with character

  • 7 minutes’ walk from the bus station
  • 12 minutes’ walk from the railway station
  • Seating is provided in three seating areas and there will be seats available for all.

DRINKS

  • 62 beers (with 21 served from wooden casks).
  • Beers ordered from breweries only.
  • Gluten free, vegan and vegetarian beer options
  • 13 real ciders and perries; traditional and modern styles.

TICKETS
Entrance is pay on the door only and entry prices will be low (there will be no advance tickets).

OPENING TIMES AND ENTRY FEES

PURCHASING ALCOHOL
Alcohol is obtained with beer tokens which can be purchased with cash or card. Unspent amounts on token cards will be refunded or customers can donate unused tokens to our non-centrally funded, local, festival charity.

ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
The festival bars will serve beers, ciders and perries in a range of styles and ABVs and vegan and gluten free options will be available. An additional bar (Foras Bar) will sell tea & coffee, soft drinks and a small selection of wines and cocktails. Purchases at Foras Bar will be by cash and card only and beer tokens cannot be used.

GLASS HIRE
Glass hire is £3 which is fully refundable. Customers can purchase their glass if they wish.

FESTIVAL PROGRAMME (including beer, cider and perry lists)
Our programme is provided free of charge.

FOOD
Hot and cold food will be provided in all sessions at reasonable prices.

ENTERTAINMENT
Following repeated requests from customers not to provide entertainment, no entertainment will be provided. Our festival will offer a time to chat with friends and to meet new people whilst simultaneously drinking our excellent beers, ciders and perries.

WI-FI CONNECTION
The Wi-Fi connection in the Viaduct Theatre is rather erratic and poor as most of the venue is underground. Unfortunately this cannot be improved in the seating areas. If you need Wi-Fi there is a good signal in the entrance area and outside the front of the building.

Optional educational talks/activities provided on Friday and Saturday afternoons free of charge.

WEBSITE
Updates and additional information will appear on this website.

While you’re in Halifax why not sample the great pubs the town has to offer?

We have produced a Real Ale Trail to help you.

HALIFAX REAL ALE TRAIL leaflet front cover

STAFFING

We would like to thank all the enthusiastic CAMRA members who have volunteered to work at the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival 2023 and for the tremendous support we have received. We appreciate the quick return of your staffing forms. The Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival 2023 is now fully staffed.

In the unlikely event that we lose staff, vacancies will be posted on this website. Sorry if we have disappointed anyone who wanted to volunteer.

Richard Lee (Festival Staffing Officer) and John Hartley (Festival Organiser) – July 2023

PAYMENTS AT CALDERDALE BEER AND CIDER FESTIVAL 2023

Entrance Fees

  • Entrance fees at our festival are as cheap as chips; in fact they are cheaper than chips when chips used to be cheap.
  • CAMRA members – you will not have to pay more than £1 to enter any festival session and some sessions are FREE (YES FREE).
  • Non-CAMRA members – entrance is £2, unless you attend on Saturday evening in which case it is FREE (YES FREE), but you could take this opportunity to join CAMRA in which case YOU’LL RECEIVE FREEBIES (our high quality membership team will explain and all you have to do is join our jolly crowd, it’s simple and well worth getting involved).
  • The high quality programme is FREE (YES FREE)
  • You don’t have to book tickets in advance, because we don’t do Advance Tickets.
  • Don’t be concerned that you might not be able to get in to this increasingly popular festival because our capacity has now increased (HURRAY FOR CALDERDALE).

On the Door

  • You will be asked to put a deposit on one of our new glasses (HURRAY, NEW GLASSES) and asked (if required) to pay your entry fee.
  • You can buy your glass if you wish by not returning it, or you can ask for a full refund (HURRAY FOR REFUNDABLE GLASSES). We don’t believe in charging customers for glasses they don’t want or need.

Can Customers Help Us?

  • PAYMENT ON THE DOOR WILL BE BY CASH ONLY, NO CARD, SO PLEASE BRING CASH.
  • You’ll be required to pay your entry fee (if applicable) and pay to hire a glass.
  • IT WOULD BE GREAT IF ATTENDEES COULD PAY FOR ENTRY PLUS A REFUNDABLE GLASS WITH COINS (RATHER THAN WITH NOTES) – £1 AND £2 COINS WOULD BE PARTICULARLY USEFUL. THIS WILL HELP US TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH CASH ON THE DOOR TO REFUND GLASS PAYMENTS.

Buying Beer Tokens

  • Cask beer, cider and perry can only be purchased by using beer tokens.
  • To offer customers flexibility, beer tokens can be purchased by paying by cash or card.
  • Beer token cards will cost £10 each and each card will enable you to purchase a number of drinks.
  • We will refund any unspent amounts on your beer token cards or, of course, you could donate these to our non-centrally funded (relying on donations) festival charity.

ENTRY FEES ON PARTICULAR DAYS

ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS OF ANY KIND PLEASE CONTACT MYSELF (John Hartley – Festival Organiser) or Colin Phillips – (Festival Strategy Group Official and Website Controller) on Branch Contact. We pride ourselves in responding very quickly to all emails, but if we are up to our necks in quicksand or are being attacked by grizzly bears, it might take a little bit longer.

We really value our customers.

BEER/CIDER/PERRY LIST FOR THE CALDERDALE BEER AND CIDER FESTIVAL 2023

We would like to thank the following breweries for providing a complimentary cask to the festival:

Big Trip Brewing, Bingley Brewery, Darkland Indie Brew Co, Nightjar Brew Co, Stod Fold Brewing Company and Vocation Brewery.

There are 62 beers in total and 42 breweries are represented. 21 beers have been matured in wood and will be served from 4.5, 6, 9 and 11 gallon wooden casks. In addition there are 41 non wooden casks. All stouts and porters and some other stronger ales have also been matured in their respective casks. All ales come from breweries and straight to your mouth!

A LARGE NUMBER OF BEERS ON OFFER ARE SUITABLE FOR VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS AND EIGHT GLUTEN FREE BEERS ARE LABELLED ON THE BEER LIST BELOW.

We also have 13 ciders, perries and piders, 3 from Yorkshire and 10 from other areas in the UK.

We are hoping that there will be no cancellations or last minute changes and no rail strikes, hurricanes, plagues of locusts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or other things that will interfere with the smooth running of the festival.

We’re excited, hope you are too? We recommend that you wear your big beer, cider and perry drinking wellies because you’re going to need them.
The Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival promotes sensible drinking…and big beer, cider and perry drinking wellies!

The beer lists below contain no beer numbers and are differently ordered to the lists in our programme, but the beers are exactly the same on both lists. This year we will be re arranging the stillages and the wooden cask bar will be situated at the end, but as we know you are enthusiastic about beers in the wood we have included the wooden cask beers first on the lists below. We hope to see you at the festival and hope you’ll drool when you read the lists below. Get drooling!!!

UF = UNFINED. VE = VEGAN. V = VEGETARIAN. CGF = CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE.
GF = GLUTEN FREE, BUT NOT CERTIFIED (BREWED TO A GLUTEN FREE RECIPE).

NOTE 1 – Very few dark beers are fined these days.
NOTE 2 – Due to the use of modern fining agents, beers can be both fined and vegan.

Published 12th September 2023 06:03

Talks And Tastings 2023

We are pleased to announce the speakers and beer and cider hosts for our 2023 Festival.

FREE BEER TALKS & TUTORED TASTINGS

Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA are delighted to bring back another varied programme of educational and thought-provoking events on the Friday and Saturday of our Festival. We have two tasting sessions, one on beer and one on cider/perry. Both are based around a selection of ales, ciders and perries available at the festival. The Tutored Beer Tasting is hosted, once again, by Richard Lee, a very experienced tasting panel judge, and the Tutored Cider Tasting is led by our cider expert Ian Priddey who not only talks about cider but produces his own from home grown apples.

We are only holding one talk this year (due to the ongoing train dispute one of our planned speakers cannot attend), and we extend a warm welcome to Chris Swift who has spent his life working in the hospitality industry and has resurrected a pub, the Wainhouse Tavern in Halifax, turning it into one of the most successful pubs in Calderdale.

We spend a great deal of time and effort selecting the beers, ciders and perries, but want to improve and enhance educational aspects and our theme of being the friendly festival.


Free tickets, from tickets and if available, can be obtained at the Beer Tokens Stand.

Changes in Running a Pub in the Last 35 Years, Good and Bad, with Chris Swift

Friday 1pm

Chris managed hotels, restaurants and nightclubs around the country before returning to his native Yorkshire in 1985. Taking the tenancy of a Samuel Webster’s pub was a big gamble at the time but was the start of a rewarding period of self-employment within the Hospitality industry. He ran a successful stocktaking and consultancy business for the next thirty-seven years. In 2014, Chris bought the freehold of the Wainhouse Tavern in Pye Nest, Halifax saving it from almost certain closure. The changes he has experienced within the trade in the last 35 years are the basis of his talk.

Beer Tutored Tasting with Richard Lee

Friday 2.30pm

Richard Lee discusses and leads a tasting of a selection of our beers. These will be chosen to represent the “classic” beer styles. Richard is not only our Chair, but is a qualified tasting panel trainer and a member of the Champion Beer of Britain Selection Panel as well as being Chair of our Tasting Panel. He has also held Tutored Tasting Sessions at the Great British Beer Festival.

Two-Pour or Not Two-Pour – The Strange World of Beer Marketing with Kirsty Walker

Saturday 1pm

It is with regret that due to an unavoidable consequence owing to the ongoing train dispute Kirsty Walker Lady Sinks the Booze, is unable to join us this year.

We apologise for those who were hoping to join this talk.

Cider and Perry Tutored Tasting with Ian Priddey

Saturday 2.30pm

Ian Priddey, the Festival Cider Bar Organiser, was born in West Yorkshire but brought up in Worcestershire, where he developed a love of cider.  Since moving to Calderdale in 1994, Ian has produced cider from Herefordshire cider apple juice and in 2014 bought equipment to press apples and pears grown in his back garden orchard. In this session, Ian will include a brief history of cider, will explain how it is made and will provide a tutored tasting of some of the festival’s ciders and perries.

Charity Support

Another Great Collaboration at the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival.

At a well-attended Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA Christmas Social at the Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd on Tuesday 12th December a cheque for £1,547.65 was presented to the Noah’s Ark Centre who were the Festival Charity at the 2023 Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival held at the Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough at the end of September. In addition to the money raised, an additional £475 was obtained via the charity’s independently organised raffle. 

Breweries supplying the Festival generously donated a wide-range of items to the charity stall which was staffed by Noah’s Ark Centre members (brewery items donated included bottled and canned beers, items of brewery clothing, pump clips, glasses and a range of other items). Money was also donated by customers in the form of unused beer tokens, glass deposits and cash donations and Nightjar Brew Co owner, Matt Bell, also suggested that a proportion of money from a donated cask of Freebird should be added to charity funds. The amount achieved exceeded the overall total raised at any other Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival and despite rail strikes the festival as a whole achieved the highest surplus in the history of the Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA branch.

The Noah’s Ark Centre is a mental health charity which was established in Ovenden, Halifax in 2000 and supports people throughout Calderdale. It was created to improve the social conditions and emotional well-being in the local community and offers a range of support services that no one else offers. Services include counselling and psychotherapy, peer support, work and volunteering opportunities, money and debt advice, financial capability training, employment support and more recently a foodbank. Their early intervention strategies enable clients to harness their own strengths and abilities to reach their goals and improve mental health and well-being as well as lift people out of poverty. Their debt advice project is one of the most successful in the UK.

The Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival Steering Group Committee always choose a charity that receives little or no Government funding and relies on donations in order to survive. Over the last six festival years, in excess of £6,500 has been raised for charities in Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Halifax and Luddendenfoot.

Andrew Sykes and Kelly from the Noah’s Ark Centre pictured with John Hartley, Festival Organiser (Left) and Edward Lee , Co-Festival Organiser (Right)

Thanks to all the breweries that donated items to the charity stall and to customers for their generous donations to help this worthwhile cause.