Boot Beer Festival

2014 Boot Beer Festival

Thursday 5th June Sunday 8th June 2014

Boot Beer Festival is a great event for all the family, ride up on the la'al Ratty railway, visit Brook House Inn and sample a beer or two then wonder up to The Boot Inn, where non drinkers could visit the working watermill and the Kids can enjoy themselves at the Boot Inn play area. Next take the path upto the Woolpack and sample the delightful beers available at one of the most remote pubs in the Lake District. A short walk down the road brings you back to the station.

Alternatively get a load of mates together, hire a minibus and con someone into driving! Better still dig the tent out blag Friday off work and come for 3 nights of superb beer in a wonderful part of the lakes, you could even do some walking (even if it is only between the pubs) Friday and Saturday nights are busy at all 3 venues so booking a table for dinner is always a good idea.

2013 Review

This was our most successful festival yet, we had a lovely evening on Thursday with Mickey Jupp playing in the bar and the curries going down well, lots of beer drunk too, Crossbay Zenith at 5% went very well, a well crafted IPA. I was looking froward to Umbel from Growler, being laced with coriander I thought it might go well with the curries but it was disappointing. Lemon head on the other hand was well received, with heavy ginger notes, a match for Ginger Marble. Having an 18gal Coniston was a good idea, but it still only lasted till Friday. Hawkshead Drystone stout was great, we had not had that on before, but it will be back, in fact all the dark ales were very good. Although I did not find much in the way of chilli in the Waen chilli plum porter it was a very fulfilling beer.

Friday and Saturday saw a good turnout, with some local coaches arriving and plenty of people on the trains, some beers lasted only a little over 1hr, including Lord Lucan from Winlce who put in a very short appearance! The Pales and Golden ales sold fastest with the 18 of Winderemere pale selling on Saturday afternoon, Ay up from Dancing Duck was great, and it was interesting to try two ales with the addition of elderflower, Purple Moose ygsawen was subtle with citrus hints and floral notes of elderflower blossom, the other was from Saltaire and as with all Saltaires fruit beers it was in your face, a bit too intensely cordial flavoured for my liking but it went down well and was much appreciated by many.

Over all there was a great atmosphere, I visited the Woolpack for a quick pint and to steal some beer from there cellar on Saturday Afternoon, lots of people up there enjoying the sunshine and the beer in their garden. As always Harry and Pads have been inventive with the use of the Keg beers from Hardknott and I liked the stackable plastic glasses (for festival use).

As for the Boot Inn this was their first festival, and without any staff from previous ones they did not really know what to expect. Their beer list of mainly Cumbrian Ales may have looked a little limited for those people lucky enough to live surrounded by the wonderful ales produced in Cumbria, but for visitors I hope it showcased just how talented our local brewers are. I called in for a pint on Monday and tried the Hesket Newmarket High Pike which was very good. It was great to have support from local CAMRA members and also from the Morris Dancers.

Wall to wall sunshine helps when so many people are camping, and also brings the locals in from the outlying towns. We have had plenty of new customers this year, but so many have been coming for the past 13 years, it is like welcoming back old friends. What surprises me is how many only come for the Festival, I was asked several times "whats it like here the rest of the year?" answer- "come and see"