Gateshead Beer Festival looks for diversity in keg ale

Gateshead Beer Festival 2014 logoGateshead Beer Festival 2014 is looking to stay ahead of its rivals by embracing kegged beers from North East breweries.

The annual three day Gateshead Rugby Club event, which this year takes place from May 2 to 4, will see 32 keg offerings – including 23 from regional firms – alongside 124 cask ales and 42 ciders and perries.

“We have tried to constantly evolve and improve the festival so that we can stay ahead of the game in the increasingly competitive festival market,” said Gateshead Beer Ferstival’s head of beer selection Jon Aslet.

“This year we have improved the music line up and sound system in the music tent, particularly on the Friday with Smoove and Turrell headlining and we will for the first time be serving keg beer in the marquee.

“The fact that we are selling keg beer is probably the biggest step that we are taking this year but it is a very exciting prospect and something that makes us stand out from most of the other beer festivals in the area.

“I think all the local breweries who produce kegged beers are represented and beer writer Andrew Mitchell has selected his 12 favourites to help the uninitiated choose.

What Gateshead Beer Festival’s head of beer selection is looking forward to on the bar

“Northern Alchemy have been working all hours to get there new brewery up and running and I am really looking forward to trying their new beers.

“But from further afield we also have new beers from Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield. One of the players in our club, Dave Kerr, is a brewer at Abbeydale and we have some of their first keg beers.

“On cask I am really looking forward to trying Gambling Man’s Sahti and feel really proud that they chose our festival to exclusively launch it at.

“Also Gambling Man will be selling some of their first barrels of their New Zealand IPA, Forth Street, and Allendale have brewed us a ‘Gateshead Wheat Beer’ – which if we get last year’s weather will be perfect for supping in the sun.

“We have a traditional Ginger Beer from Nottinghamshire’s Fun Fair brewery called Tea Cups and having enjoyed Tiny Rebel’s Hank at this year’s Newcastle Beer Festival I am looking forward to trying Fubar and Billabong.

“As usual with our festival we have only the 50 pumps so the beers will be changing regularly and the only way to guarantee that you can try all the beers is to come every day – and this year we have tried to spread the different types, strengths and colours of beer better throughout the weekend so that hopefully at any one time we have something to suit everyone’s taste.”

Gateshead Beer Festival 2014 takes place from May 2 to 4 at Gateshead Rugby Club in Low Fell. You can buy tickets in advance, for a £2 discount, by visiting the Gateshead Beer Festival website.