Brewing up a beer for May Day Cathedral festival

Beer Festival organisers are hoping to attract big crowds this year.
Beer Festival organisers are hoping to attract big crowds this year.

Ripon Cathedral is getting set for this year’s annual May Day Beer Festival, with some unusual brews featuring at the festival’s stalls.

The successful event, now in its eighth year, will once again take place on the cathedral grounds on May Day – Monday, May 6.

“It is known as a local community, family focused event,” cathedral campaign manager Margaret Hammond told the Gazette.

“It has become an event people look out for and pop in their diary.”

A number of local businesses are sponsoring this year’s event, with a view to raising more money than ever for the Cathedral Music Foundation.

Hambleton Ales and The Water Rat will be on hand to deliver beers from breweries across Yorkshire, including Theakston’s and Yorkshire Heart Brewery and Vineyard, with Ripon company Wolseley sponsoring the beer glasses.

“We have some absolutely fantastic breweries, and we have some slightly different beers this year,” Mrs Hammond said.

“Theakston’s have got a new brew called Masham Four and Twenty which will be available, and we will also be serving wine, Pimms and cider from Old Sleningford Farm in North Stainley.

“We are very locally focused.”

The festival will feature a selection of 30 different northern ales, also including Hambleton Bitter and Stallion, Wold Top Bitter, Rudgate Viking Blonde, Roosters YPA, Daleside Bitter, and Timothy Taylor’s Bitter – to name just a few.

Musical entertainment will also liven up the cathedral grounds with singing duo Two Well Worn, the King Courgette and Roosters band and new acts including Dave Pilla and Area 40 taking centre stage.

“We normally attract around 2,000 people,” said Mrs Hammond, “and we are expecting a great turn out this year.”

She added: “Lots of local people come here for the day but we also attract people from far and wide. Last year we even had people here from the island of Jersey.

“I think people just see it as a great day out.”

The festival takes place from 11.30am-5pm in the grounds of Ripon Cathedral. In addition to live music and a selection of alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and hot food will also be available.

There will also be family friendly activities such as a bouncy castle, face painting and a craft table.

l Entrance £3 for adults, which includes a chance to win a Booths Beer Hamper. Children’s entry is free.