Spreading The Love of Beer with our September Beer Festival

For most people the festival season is seen as June to August; the summer months, or so we call them. You know the scene; endless sunny days, drinking, dancing, eating and sometimes sleeping outdoors, enjoying a sunset as the band plays on, etc etc. But at Ossett Brewery we like to be a bit different, and September is when it all kicks off for us.  

The great benefit of beer festivals is that you don’t necessarily need the weather; just the people and the beer. Except that September usually provides pretty decent weather anyway, but let’s keep that as our little secret. Across the Ossett Brewery pub estate we have a vast knowledge and love of beers, and quite simply we like to show it off, and our programme of beer festivals is the perfect chance to do that. Not for us the simple conventions of the regular social calendar though, we like to make the summer last a bit longer and breath some life into September, whilst reminding everyone that it’s not quite time to bolt the door shut, crank the heating up and settle in for winter. 

September at Ossett Brewery is still very much festival season, and we are cracking on with no less than six separate beer festivals during the next month, spread out like a utopian itinerary of fun and laughter, an endless joyride of fine ales, fine people, live music and great food and very much an antidote to the dark nights drawing in. Nothing beats the communal buzz of a beer festival and the knowledge that you are in the presence of like-minded souls with a deep love for the important things in life. So rest your taste buds and fine tune your nostrils in anticipation of a range of flavours, hoppy aromas and lovingly-fermented textures that will take you to a new dimension of brewing that you never thought was possible.   

First up we have the sixth annual Rat-Inn-Festation at the Rat & Ratchet in Huddersfield between Thursday 7th September and Sunday 10th. Here our award-winning brewpub offers a choice of 20 hand-pulled beers - a mix of new brews and old favourites - as well as brewery tours, merchandise, a beer quiz, live music every night and plenty of street food to keep you going.    

Next up the Ossett Brewery festival roadshow pitches up at the Shepherd’s Rest in Sowerby Bridge. We will be unpacking the bunting ready for the start of the festival on 14th September and it runs until Sunday 17th. This classic local pub offers the most simple but key ingredients of the regular pub-goers wish list, and the beer festival is no different. With 15 local beers on tap and barbecue food, there will also be a live band on the Saturday night. 

Also on Sunday 17th is ‘Common Folk’ at the Fox in York, one of our most famous and historical pubs, which is adorned with a blue heritage plaque on the outside wall. The brewery restored the pub in 2014 after it had been left almost derelict and it has become a firm favourite, with many drinkers in the local populace delighted that we have faithfully restored the pub to its former glories. On the Sunday afternoon we have a special event in what is believed to be the biggest beer garden in York, with live music, food and of course a great choice of beers. 

Another of our microbreweries is Fernandes in Wakefield, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of brewing on its premises in September, and how else would you commemorate such an occasion than with a beer festival? Except Fernandes are making it a special four day beer festival between 21st and 24th September. Make a note in your diaries for now, and we will be telling you a lot more about this event and the Fernandes story in September’s blog post.  

The Drop Inn is described as an ‘attractive back street alehouse’ in Elland, but while it may be hidden away amongst the historic Calderdale mills, it has plenty of charm and local authenticity, and its blooming beer garden (and we mean that in the nicest possible sense) will be hosting yet another beer festival at the end of the month. From Thursday 28th September to Sunday 1st October you can take your pick from a mouth-watering selection of 16 beers, and I dare say with some tactical drinking and sufficient recovery time, you can sample all of them across the weekend before the barman calls time. There will be a quiz on the Thursday, barbecue food and live music at 9pm on Saturday. 

Finally we have WHARFEST 4, the big daddy of the festival scene. From small acorns this has grown in to a behemoth twice-annual event and the standard of live music just gets better and better. The first WHARFEST was in January 2016, and the fourth such event takes place on Saturday September 30th, as usual in the Granary Wharf area of Leeds. Our three sister bars are sharing the billing, with The Hop, Archies and Candlebar all playing open house, as beer, food and music lovers saunter casually between the three neighbouring venues and pick and choose from a line-up to keep everyone satisfied. Candlebar has acoustic artists, The Hop has live bands playing a variety of styles, while Archies has all-day DJs ripping it up until you can dance no more. It all kicks off from 3pm across all three venues, and oh, we kept the best bit until last; it’s completely free. No tickets, no queuing, no wristbands. Just come and go as you please, enjoy the music, food and drinks, and make sure you never miss a WHARFEST again.  

So if you read a national paper mourning the end of the festival season in the next couple of weeks, you can tell them it’s only just beginning. Come and join us at one or more of our beer festivals in September; you love beer, we already know that, so come and spread the love. 

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