Thursday, 27 September 2012

Beer fit for World Champions

One of the highlights of the Bromyard Hop Festival which is held in September is the Hop Pocket World Championships. A total of twenty teams of runners carrying a full 'hop pocket' (the huge sack used to store dried hops) set off from the Market Square and ran the length of the town before doubling back. 

Winners of the 2012 Hop Pocket Word Championship race were the team 'Awesome', made up of two pairs of brothers: Ashley and Andrew Davis, and William and Lewis Jacobsen.   'It was a last-minute decision to enter', said Andrew Davis, 'but I'm glad we did.  We had no special training, but we're all pretty fit, so we just went for it'. 'Awesome' ran the course in 2 minutes 41 seconds, narrowly beating a team of Halo Leisure fitness instructors who made 2 minutes 47. The Butty Bach Boys, a team from Wye Valley Brewery came in third place.

The new Ladies World Champion team is Luscious Ladies, who are Philippa Jones, Sally Bullock, Carla Chamberlain and Steph Bagley. The girls returned a time of 4m 11s. "The women's hop pocket weights 50 kg as against the men's one at 70kg, so we're very pleased with that time", said Steph Bagley, "and very proud to have taken over the title of Ladies' World Champions. Proud, but exhausted!"

Chris Barltrop, one of the organisers of the Bromyard Hop Festival said ‘the Hop Festival Committee are hugely grateful to Wye Valley Brewery for their whole-hearted support in so generously being one of our two major sponsors’.

The two winning teams met up at Wye Valley Brewery to collect their prize boxes of beer.

Pictured Vernon Amor, managing director of Wye Valley Brewery, with winning men’s team ‘Awesome’ and winning ladies team ‘Luscious Ladies’.

Friday, 21 September 2012

25 years for The Barrels

Visitors to The Barrels were celebrating last night as the pub was awarded a plaque to mark 25 years of being featured in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. 

Described in the Good Beer Guide as a multi-room pub which enjoys a cult following, it stocks the full range of Wye Valley Brewery beers, and has been awarded CAMRA Herefordshire Pub of the Year on six occasions.

This year The Barrels held their 25th charity beer festival and raised a massive £25,000 for local charities.

Pictured from left Peter Amor landlord of The Barrels, Mark Haslam from Herefordshire CAMRA and Phil Pryce, Manager of The Barrels.

The Blooming Barrels!

The Barrels in Hereford has been recognised in the Heart of England in Bloom awards. 

The Barrels is Wye Valley Brewery’s flagship pub and was home to the brewery for many years. This popular pub which boasts a friendly atmosphere and excellent beer, also prides itself on its colourful beer garden.

The Heart of England in Bloom judges awarded The Barrels a Gold Award, in the Hotel and Pub Grounds category. 

Manager of The Barrels Phil Pryce and Estate Manager Geoff Evans were delighted to collect the award, and were pleased that their hard work had been recognised.

Pictured Geoff Evans receiving the Gold award.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Breweries in UK at a 70 year high

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) says there are now 1,000 breweries in the UK - the highest figure for 70 years.

Camra said 158 new breweries had opened in the past year alone, the highest number ever recorded by the lobby group's annual Good Beer Guide.

The organisation said the growth rate had quickened over the past 10 years and that the number had doubled in that time, with one brewery for every 50 pubs.

Camra called the figure "astonishing".

The increase has come against a backdrop of continuing pub closures. Almost 10,000 pubs have closed in the past decade.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

25th Charity Beer Festival

Every August bank holiday The Barrels in Hereford holds a charity beer festival, it has done so for 25 years.

In its 25th year visitors enjoyed 6000 pints of excellent beers from various British brewers, including Herefordshire’s very own Wye Valley Brewery, and 1000 pints of local cider.

The beer festival is run by volunteers and benefits local Charities, in their 1st year they raised £1,000, and in their 25th year they raised a record £25,000, a huge amount over inflation!

In particular, the festival donated £1,500 to The Mayors chosen charities, which are The Breast Cancer Haven and Robocap, a state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer.

Over the last 25 years The Barrels Charity Beer Festival has raised in excess of £350,000.

Pictured Peter Amor, Landlord of The Barrels with Mayor of Hereford, Cllr Brian Wilcox.

Bronze for Butty Bach Boys

Bromyard's second-ever Hop Festival has been pronounced a 'sparkling success' by organisers.

''We are very lucky to have chosen such a sunny, warm day for the Festival", said Festival chairman Ian Raven. "All aspects of the event were more than well-supported, especially the parade through the town of vintage and horse-drawn vehicles, and also the two performances of our community play about the old hand-picking methods of harvesting the annual crop".

The crowds turned out en masse, with many visitors coming long distances from other regions to discover Bromyard and  join in the fun.  An estimated 3000 spectators lined the town's Broad St and High St for the climax of the day, the Hop Pocket Race invented last year specially  for the first Hop Festival.   A total of twenty teams of runners carrying a full 'hop pocket' (the huge sack used to store dried hops) set off from the Market Square and ran the length of the town before doubling back. The Butty Bach Boys came in third place, beaten only by a team called 'Awesome' and a team of Halo Leisure fitness instructors.

Pictured The Butty Bach Boys.