As a family we would often take our hols late in the season. Meaning that at work I’d sit through weeks and months of others jetting off into the sunshine to enjoy themselves. I sit at work wishing my holiday would hurry up and arrive.
This years abit different. We have no holiday plans due to moving house. However, I’ve gone through a very similar feeling week after week but down to watching everyone attend brilliant looking beer festivals! All the while knowing that I had Craft Beer Calling to look forward to, but it felt a long way off!
Well it’s no longer a long way off, it’s here next weekend! And I can’t bloomin wait!
I have had a few people ask me over the years which is the best beer festival and I’ve always ummed and ahhed over the details and the differences between them, when in all honesty they’re 75% the same. The beers will all vary, but you know what styles will be pouring. The venues are all very different but all have largely similar functions.
The differences become the characters of each festival. Indyman character feels asif it’s very much driven by the atmosphere, which feels like its sculpted by the aura of the building. There are many other brilliant venues which impart their own auras on the proceedings. The Palace of Arts in Newcastle brings its own ethos to Craft Beer Calling.
But for me, the thing which determines how I feel about festivals is the people. Firstly the nature of the people organising, second the nature of the people attending and thirdly, the people who I go with and spend my time with. Now Craft Beer Calling has grown up over the years. I don’t necessarily think it’s become that much bigger in volume, buts definitely grown in stature. And as a result the crowd is now more diverse. When it first moved to the Palace of Arts it kinda set its stall out for what it wanted to become. The locals loved it, but that allowed word to spread further afield which draws people from outside the region in to sample its delights. This is the very core of what a festival of this magnitude should do. Anything which brings folk from outside the region in to spend their coin here is a huge benefit to us all.
So what of the best beer festival? Well the truth is, there isn’t one. It’s the best one for you. It’s the one which gives you the best experience and that experience is significantly impacted by who you go with and who you meet when you’re there. These are things totally outside the organisers control but make a massive difference to how you perceive that festival.
I guess a large part of the charm of Craft Beer Calling is the localness of it. I know I’ll know a lot of people there. I usually go along to sessions on my own, and never find myself not knowing anyone. It’s also a very friendly festival. It’s a very welcoming crowd.
I have to say o can’t wait to get in there again!
So who’s coming out to play?