If you are a beer lover than there is literally no better place to be than the 4 day Leeds International Beer Festival (LIBF) at (and in other venues around) Leeds Town Hall. Running from 5-8 September, 2019 the event is in its 8th year and celebrates and promotes craft beer that has been brewed both in the UK and overseas.
UK breweries can be found in the Victoria Hall and Main Hall, Talks and Tastings take place in the Courtroom and the Portico & Town Hall Entrance will host the New Zealand Collective and the cocktail bar.
In 2018 at the 7th annual Leeds International Beer Festival, the Maine Beer Box was featured. This was an international and collaborative project, involving brewers from across the US state filling up the Maine beer box with craft beer and shipping it on a freighter ship to Leeds.
Here is a look at some of the breweries that will be showcased in the 8th year of the annual festival and what they have to offer:
North Brewing Company
John Gyngell and Christian Townsley founded the brewery in 2015 – this was their further foray into beer after they had opened North Bar in 1997 which is reputed to be “the first craft beer bar in Britain”. North Brewing Co. specialise in fun and playful flavour combinations as well as the classics.
Just last week this brewery announced a new beer – Sea of Tranquility described as: “Baring a silky texture, soft tones of passion fruit, peach and strawberry liquorice with a long lasting resinous finishes and aromas of pine, pineapple and peaches. Bathe in the Sea of Tranquility, become awash with peace.”
Let’s hope we all get to bathe in the sea of tranquillity at LIBF…
Founded in 2011, not far from the original 19th century Abbey brew house (but since relocated), I must admit a weak spot for this brewery’s Pale Ale (4.0) and luckily for me, they will be bring that along to the LBF along with their Black Band Porter (5.5) which has balanced chocolate and coffee flavours, is delicately dark and enhanced by a mildly herbal hop flavour.
Bad Co. Brewing & Distilling Company
Bad Co. will be offering Bourbon Aged Dazed & Confused milk stout and a Milkshake IPA that I would dearly love to get my hands on. Visitors to the LBF will get the chance to sample their Off Tempo Tropical IPA (5.8) described by Bad Co. thus: “It caresses your taste buds with Pineapple and Grapefruit before leaving the aftertaste of the tropics on your pallet.” Who could resist?
Magic Rock Brewing
Richard Burhouse (with help from head brewer, Stuart Ross) began Magic Rock Brewing in 2011 in Huddersfield. These brewers were voted 2nd best brewery in the world in 2012 and production currently stands at 2.7 million pints! Those are some impressive stats… At a whopping 10.5% I know I will be trying the wonderfully named Bearded Lady Dessert Edition Hazelnut – described as “Bourbon BA Imperial stout with cinnamon, cacao nibs, vanilla and hazelnut.” Delicious!
Roosters has been established for over 25 years and is a family-owned and independently operated brewery. Roosters will be presenting a mouth-watering cucumber pale ale, Jubilee (4.0) and the Citra IPA Baby-Faced Assassin also sounds like one not to be missed. It won an International Brewing Award in 2011.
If you need to soak up some of that beer you will be spoiled for choice with food stalls from Little Bao Boy and Bundobust (the deliciousness of the food on offer by these two establishments I can personally attest to) as well as delicious fare served up by Blue Caribou Canteen, Doner Summer (surely worth a visit for the name alone!), Parm Star and Cadillac Jacks.
Live music, DJS and visual entertainment is supplied across the four days and the main hall includes a gigantic video screen showing laser projections by Lumen Arts. Included in your Leeds Beer Festival ticket price is a commemorative glass and programme, access to the four live music stages, live acts, DJS, free retro gaming and the food market. Sunday is Family Day when young people under 18 can attend for free (accompanied by an adult).
So what are you waiting for? Get along to Leeds Town Hall and get your hands on a beautifully crafted pint.