Castleford in Yorkshire will be the first host of WoodFest – a weekend festival celebrating beers served from traditional wooden casks.
The 2017 SPBW WoodFest is set to run from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July at the Horse and Jockey pub which is home to the first brewery to have a wooden mash tun installed for the purpose of brewing since 1914.
As more brewers and publicans revert back to the traditional use of wooden casks the festival will look to seize on mounting public appetite for wood conditioned beer.
Attendees from as far as Norway have already confirmed their interest, with members from the SPBW Chesapeake Bay branch in California also making the trip across.
Festival organiser Robin Shacklock commented: “Wood casks have been the traditional method for conditioning and storing of beers but for many decades it took a back seat to metal and plastic.
“Today there is a big interest in wooden casks as a container for beer with an upsurge that has led to many brewers sending beer to publicans in wooden barrels and, as a result, saving the ancient craft of the cooper, and the cask.”
The festival, running in conjunction with sponsors Irwin Mitchell, will feature three days of events with the championship beer to be awarded on Thursday and talks from special guests to be announced.
Friday and Saturday will have a wide range of cask beers from the wood available throughout the day.
WoodFest comes on the back of the remarkable success of The Junction licensees Neil Midgley and Maureen Shaw, who have transformed the pub since it was re-opened in 2010 into a Mecca for beers from the wood enthusiasts.
From humble beginnings it has grown into an award-winning pub which is due in no small part to its USP, that all the real ales are served from wooden casks.
Neil has built up his own collection of wooden barrels over the years which he sends out to (mainly local) brewers to be filled.
There is limited space at the WoodFest 2017 and only a ticket bought in advance will guarantee entry. All tickets are now on sale as a pre-festival order via the festival website.