Real ale festival returns to Dewsbury

SELL OUT: Last year's beer festival proved a huge success. (d20051010)
SELL OUT: Last year's beer festival proved a huge success. (d20051010)

FANS of traditional ale and spicy food will be looking forward to one weekend in May, when two events take over Dewsbury town centre.

After last year’s huge success, the Campaign for Real Ale’s beer festival is returning to Dewsbury town hall from Thursday May 19 to Saturday May 21.

And this year, on Saturday it be complemented by the town’s first Fiery Food Street Market chilli festival.

Inside the town hall, drinkers will be able to enjoy a selection of Yorkshire and Scottish real ales, ciders and world beers, plus live music.

CAMRA’s Heavy Woollen Branch Chairman, Alan Mapplebeck, said: “We think we put Dewsbury on the map last year, for the right reasons, with nearly 3,000 visitors, and we are trying to expand it.”

Last year’s event was so successful that it actually ran out of beer, so organisers are hoping this year’s festival will be just as popular.

Mr Mapplebeck said: “What we want is some nice weather and lots of people.”

The festival doors open to CAMRA members at 4pm on the Thursday, before they are opened to the public at 6pm by award-winning beer writer Simon Jenkins.

On Thursday, the event will go on until 10.30pm. On Friday and Saturday, it will be open to CAMRA members from noon until 5pm, then to the public from 5pm-10.30pm on Friday and Saturday.

Entry costs range from £3-£5 per session, with free sessions for CAMRA members.

Businesses still have time to sponsor a barrel through the festival’s website,

Of course, for anyone who doesn’t drink beer, the Fiery Food Street Market should still be a reason to visit the town centre on Saturday May 21.

Town centre manager Andrew Sloman said: “We have quite a few really vibrant stalls booked, with chilli plants, different types of food and other exciting wares.”

The event will also include cooking demonstrations, competitions, entertainers and a chilli eating contest for anyone brave enough.

Mr Sloman said: “It will be a small event, but we are hoping in years to come to build it up to something much, much bigger.”

There are still slots available for anyone who would like a stall on the day, as the spicy food festival spreads across Market Place and Foundry Street.

For more information, visit the Towns’ Management website at www.batleyand