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Festival Time!

It's that time of year again.

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are starting to change colour, there is a cool nip in the air. And, up and down the country, every weekend, beer festivals are taking place in pubs, clubs, church halls and many other varied places and spaces.

It's not purely an autumnal affair, as many festivals happen at other times of the year. It is just that Autumn seems to bring them thick and fast, and decisions have to be made about which to visit, and which ones you miss.

A couple of weeks ago I was the Rastrick Beer Festival, at St John's Church, then last week I was at the Todmorden Beer Festival at the cricket club. Unfortunately, I had to miss the Navigation at Mirfield then, and the Huddersfield CAMRA Festival this weekend due to other events.

So why go to a Beer Festival when so many pubs these days serve a wide choice of beers? Is it not just a throwback to the days of the '70's when they were a welcome refuge from the mass of keg-only pubs? When Watneys Red Barrel and Whitbread Tankard were everywhere? Well, no. They can usually represent a great opportunity to try some beers from outside your area that you wouldn't normally get to try, catch up with old friends and people you haven't seen for ages, help some worthy causes, and engage with the local community.

Next weekend, one of my favourites is on. The Bailiff Bridge Beer Festival takes place at the local community centre for the 4th time. The centre was only opened just before the first one, after years of work by the local community to open a facility the area could be proud of. And I love this event because the atmosphere is great, the venue is light, airy and very comfortable, everyone is made to feel welcome, and the choice of beers made by Mark Feasey, formerly of the Ship in Brighouse normally provide a pretty eclectic selection.

It opens at 5 on Friday 9th October, and finishes on Saturday 10th. Hope to see you there!

Bailiff Bridge Community Centre, Victoria Road, Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse HD6 4DX


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