Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Rotherham Oakwood 2002

Yorkshire`s greatest real ale festival took place in February 2002, here in Rotherham. Almost twice the size of the nearest Yorkshire Festival, the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham can be rightly pround of the fabulous event.

More than 5,200 people visited the festival over four days. Two of the days were sponsor days with local and national businesses showing their support for this community show of ales, wines, ciders,foreign beers, food and great entertainment.The Friday and Saturday revealed a huge 30% increase over the previous record year of 2001.

215 beers were avaible to taste!This is a Yorkshire record.In fact, this makes Rotherham the largest Festival north of Nottingham.To celebrate this achievement, Rotherham Oakwood hosted the first ever Yorkshire Championship Festival. Beers wre nominated by fellow Yorkshire branches of CAMRA and wre entered into blind tasting sessions to determine the Champion beer of Yorkshire.It was a proud moment to see the end of thetasting session on the tuesday before the Festival opened. Every "regulae" Yorkshire beer was tasted by more than 20 trained tasting panels, to shortlist 10 beers for the final panel tasters came from all walks of life CAMRA experts, brewers, publicans, politicans and celebrities.All helped.

The winning beer was judged as Rudgate Brewery {from Rudgate near York} Viking, a session bitter. There will be more information in the next issue of this magazine on the winning Yorkshire Championship beers.

The festival was organised into areas of Yorkshire the Dales, the Moors, vale of York,Bronte, Woollen and our own bars of Coal and Steel and Rotherham, which featured all Wentworth Brewery beers.{ronnie}Moore`s magic was a very popular beer. Brewed just for the Festival and Rotherham United`s Manager, it was a dark luscious mild.It was sold out on Friday night. Wentworth Brewery alro brewed a hefty special Whistlejacket, just for the Festival.

It was great to see all Yorkshire beers including the return of Black Sheep, who came to the very first Oakwood Festival 10 years ago with Black Sheep bitter. It was the first time it appeared at a beer festival. In 1992 it appeared with just 17 other beers; in 2002 it appeared with 214 other beers! Scottish Courage came in strengh with thier full range of Yorkshire brewed real ales brewed in Tadcaster{John Smiths}and Masham {Theakstons}. Our other major brewer also came with thier full range of beers brewed in Leeds Tetleys brewery.Rotherham folk drank twice as much Tetleys in 2002 as in 2001 at the Festival{i hope Tetleys are listening}.

The only beers not brewed in Yorkshire came in the Ambassador Bar from breweries in london {Fullers}, Edinburgh {Caledonian} and Cardiff {Brains}.We had special beers brewed from many breweries although it was nice to see Old Nill of Snaith{near Goole}. back again with an Oakwood Gold, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school, now called Oakwood Technology Collage.

Ciders sold ouit, again, and the foreign beer bar, this year based on European beers, was incredibly popular.It was so popular that beers couldn`t be served quickly enough by no less than 8 staff behind the single bar! Wines showed themselves to be the fastest growth market, yet again.Rotherham beware! There is an increasing market for quality wines,particularly red ones.Three wine bars were exhausted of supplies late Saturda night.

The entertainment bill was second to none,A solid professional cast was presented in three areas with distinctly different tastes to satisfy.There was rock,heavy blues,folk,comedy,girl bands and evena circus troupe with many aspects of circus entertainment.We had the Harthill Morris Men clear the floor with their humourous follies. Yet there wre still quiet areas just to drinkin.

The Festival was very lucky in the support offered by the Rotherham Community no less than local volunteers helped keep the festival ghoing.We were also assisted by Rotherham and other Yorkshire CAMRA branches{at least most of them} who help select beers and blind taste them for the Championship .

Overall, a great Festival, a great Rotherham event and all to support the children of Rotherham. Thank you for your support and help.


Back To Issue Thirteen
Back To Inn Touch
Pub Of The Year



      Branch Officers
      Pub Of The Season
      Pub Of The Year
      Pub News
      Beer Festivals
      Past Breweries
      Join Camra
      Inn Touch Online
      Contact Me