The organisers of the Delapre Beer Festival have pledged to return next year and increase the amount of beer on offer, declaring “my word, the Northampton population can drink!”
Phipps NBC took over the running of this year’s festival from Northampton Borough Council. An estimated 9,000 people attended the event over three days at Delapre park to enjoy a range of Northamptonshire beers.
Managing director Alaric Neville said he was passionate about the event.
“It was a wonderful experience but it was hair-raising. The numbers were greater than they ever been, we haven’t got the final clickers in, but we estimate between 8,500 to 9,000 people.
“What was noticeable there was a much wider range of people coming. We saw families there and a lot of people that hadn’t been to a beer festival before.
“We need to get more people involved in appreciating the range and quality of local food and drnk in the county,” he added.
Mr Neville said the festival had an important place in the calendar of events in Northampton.
“We feel the festival replaces in a small way the old county show and the balloon festival. Its heart is the beer festival but we want to be seen as part of the expansion of the food and drink industry in the county.
“We skewed the selection of the beers so all the county brewers were invited and they came. We had tiny little brewers, right up to Carlsberg. It was a bit controversial inviting Carlsberg but we wanted to be welcoming to all brewers and they did their bit and brought a number of specialist beers.”
Judging how much beer to stock was a tricky decision, he said, as they did not want to waste beer and throw it away at the end of the festival.
“We almost run out of beer - we will definitely have more beer next year, because my word the Northampton population can drink,” he added.
“I’m passionate about keeping it going - we were invited to run it, we hadn’t planned it, we thought about it for a moment, we spoke to CAMRA and got them involved.
“We had to make this pay and we’ve made a profit and will make a donation to the Nepal earthquake,” he added.
CAMRA ran a competition at the festival for the best beers and the results were as follows:
Bitter: Potbelly Best
Best Bitter: Phipps NBC IPA
Strong Bitter: Hart 1833 IPA
Mild: Great Oakley Welland Valley Mild
Strong Mild: Hart No 3
Porter: Cotton End Coffee Porter
Stout: Gun Dog Ales Lord Barker
Golden: Whistling Kite Eleanor’s Ise
Speciality: Nene Valley Farmhouse Saison
Cider: Vale of Welton Rose Hill
Beer of the Festival: Whistling Kite Eleanor’s Ise