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07-04-2014, 21:21
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Allez, Allez to The Nook beer festival

If you have been living under a rock for the past few months then it may have escaped your notice that the Tour de France will roll through Yorkshire this summer.
Those towns, cities and businesses lining the route look set for an economic bonanza when the world's greatest cycle race hurtles through in early July.
Beer-wise we've already seen some enterprising efforts from Little Valley's Stage Winner beer dedicated to British cycling trailblazer Brian Robinson to five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault holding a pint aloft in The Robin Hood in Cragg Vale.
But a Holmfirth pub is getting to the start line slightly early on Thursday with a Tour de France themed beer festival over four days.
Rather than me picking out some cycling themes beers from the list, we thought we would ask The Nook Brewhouse's office manager Sam Parker to give us the low-down on its event via an email Q&A.
Ale Ambler: I can see from your festival poster and some of the beers on the list, that the Tour de France is the theme of this Spring beer festival. Please can you tell us how you went about sourcing the beers and are there any particular ales you are looking forward to trying?

Sam Parker: We have good relationships with many breweries, mainly around Yorkshire and the North West, who we swap casks with regularly so all the beers we source for our festivals are swapped. Trying to find Tour de France or cycling themed beers has been a little tricky this early in the year as many breweries are brewing specials to coincide with the main event in July but we have a few that I am looking forward to trying. Particularly Pedal Power from Harrogate and Allgates’ Yellow Jersey I’m also looking forward to trying beers from some new breweries and breweries that are new to our festival like Squawk Brewing Co and Trouser Town IPA from The Hebden Bridge Brewing Co.

AA: Following on from that, please you tell us how big a deal it will be for your pub when the world's greatest bike race comes to Holmfirth in July?

SP: It’s a really big deal having such big sporting event pass through your town. I think it’s a bit like Fifa announcing they are going to hold the world cup final at the local recreation ground and they are giving the tickets away for free. The Tour de France is the biggest free sporting event in the world and even for people who aren’t cycling fans It will be spectacle and an event they will want to say they were there. Hopefully all the die hard fans who will be coming from all around the world will want to watch the race with a pint of real Yorkshire ale.

AA: What will you be planning for race day?

SP: Obviously we will be very busy in our two brewery taps The Nook and Carniceria and I think it’s fair to say we will serve quite a bit of beer over both bars but we are also hoping to have a bar right next to the route.
I went to see the location the other day and it will be a great vantage point for the crowd who will be able to see the riders pass by right by them then there will be great views across to the opposite hillside as the peloton climbs up to Holme Moss summit. There are also events happening all weekend in the centre of Holmfirth that we will be involved with like a special Food and Drink Festival and the regular Farmers Market.

AA: Turning back to this week's festival, I note you will have quite a few ciders on. I'm trying to improve my woeful cider knowledge, what can you tell me about the range of ciders you will have on?

SP: The ciders at our festival are both made By local producers Pure North from Deanhouse and The Little Badger Cider Co from Brockholes both within about three miles. Again we have great relationships with both producers.
Pure North create wonderful natural ciders from apples grown in their own orchard and this year we will have, amongst others, the brand new Appily Honley: a pale light cider full of fresh apple flavours made with a blend of five apples.
Little Badger specialise in ciders flavoured with exotic fruits like mango and we will have their Holme Moss Monster Mango which may be tricky to say after you had a few.

Post script: Many thanks to Sam for the insight into The Nook's Spring Beer Festival, which runs from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13.

Anyone wanting to know the inside track on Little Valley's Tour beer should read Leigh Linley's post on the subject:

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