This weekend saw the return of the Beer Festival to the wonderful Craven Arms pub in Appletreewick. If you’ve never been (to the pub or the village) you must be sure to take a trip there soon. Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, just 12 miles north-east of Skipton, Appletreewick, I recently found out (thanks wiki) attained the title of ‘Britain’s Friendliest Town to Drive Through’ in 2009. It also has two great pubs, The New Inn and the focus of this post, The Craven Arms.
We arrived Saturday afternoon and pitched up our bell tent at Howarth Farm campsite, which is a friendly, working farm, surrounded by stunning views and is only ten minutes walk from the village itself. Following a bite to eat, we wandered to the Pub and got settled in.
The theme of the Beer Festival was ‘War of the Roses’. Ten beers selected from breweries in Yorkshire and ten from breweries in Lancashire, alongside a Cider from each county too.
Now, if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me tweeting the scores in the afternoon. As the day went on, we did continue to score, but we’d also met and made new friends, so the social media was put aside. One of the people we were speaking with was David Aynesworth, owner of the Craven Arms. He sung us a few folk ditties and entertained us in the heather thatched Cruck Barn at the rear of the pub. I’ve got to say that there was some incredible beers on offer, and in my bias opinion, most of them were from Yorkshire. Votes were taken over the whole weekend and the eventual winner was….drum roll please… Mrs Simpson’s Thriller In Vanilla Porter (abv 5.1%) from the Brown Cow Brewery in Selby. As nice as this was it only came tied for second on my list, along with the South Island Pale (abv 3.5%) from the Saltaire Brewery in Shipley.
The beer that came top of the pops in my eye’s was Birdie (abv 4.3%), a Pale from the superb Dark Horse Brewery in Hetton. Supposedly this was brewed to coincide with the Ryder Cup using both European and American hops. I won’t pretend to understand what all of that means, I just know it makes one hell of a pint. Be sure to give it a try if you see it out about.
So that was my weekend. Autumn Glamping in my bell tent, coupled with a Beer Festival in one of the finest pubs in the country, in one of the finest spots in the Yorkshire Dales. Ten out of ten.