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01-03-2015, 19:40
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East vs West fest, May 15-16, at The Read Shed, Wakefield

A few days ago I was summoned to appear at Five Towns Brewery in Wakefield to discuss the possibility of helping out at a charity beer festival that brewer Malcolm Bastow is planning to stage in May.
I descended the stairs to Malc's fabulous but alas not public cellar bar where I discovered a veritable brains' trust of the Wakey ale scene. Quite why I was invited is still being ascertained, but there were CAMRA representatives, a club boss, a poster designer, someone who knew about catering and a retired union convener to take the minutes of this informal meeting.
There was also a fantastic spread put on by Malc's family, and Five Towns' A Day at The Races was on handpull to help the little grey cells function.
Right, to business. Malc is planning to stage the East vs West festival at The Red Shed (aka Wakefield Labour Club) on Friday, May 15 to Saturday, May 16.
It will benefit children's cancer charity Candlelighters and community-spirited Newton Hill Cricket Club.
After discussing practical issues - ticketing, glasses, food and tokens - we moved on to the beers.
The 'West' beers are being sourced by leading ale blogger Beers Manchester, who ran a very successful beer festival in Salford, which I think inspired Malc to run one on the right side of the Pennines.
The list isn't finalised yet, but I understand Beers Manchester will source 11 ales from his neck of the woods.
Then we turned to Yorkshire. We were in consensus not to do an all Wakey selection, probably as this has been done well elsewhere - by the local CAMRA branch and by the O to K Festival.
Then the conversation turned towards which 11 breweries should represent the White Rose county. Again, this was a very much an ideas-sharing exercise, so the list is far from complete. But there were some interesting names being banded about.
We are all due to meet again in a week or so, so hopefully I'll have more concrete news then.
I'm intending to do regular updates about the festival's progress both on the A Swift One (http://www.aswiftone.com/) blog and on twitter @eastwestfest.
East vs West Fest (May 15-16)

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