BEER FESTIVAL REPORT ON  Alverthorpe WMC's 2004 Festival by Wakefield CAMRA Member Terry Stennett.

Alverthorpe Working Men's Club is situated on flanshaw lane in Wakefield west Yorkshire, and has been in existence for over one hundred years.  In recent years the club has sold cask Tetley's bitter and the now very hard to find cask mild, it also sold cask John Smiths bitter but this has been dropped due to poor sales (John Smiths smooth has unfortunately "triumphed").  A few years ago the club started to sell a "guest" beer from the tapsters choice range, this was a very enlightened policy as many famous beers have been sold, Marston pedigree, Charles Wells Bombardier, Greene-King abbot to name just a few, at reasonable prices (currently 1.62 per pint).  This willingness to offer real ale has resulted in some members being "converted" from the bland smooth offerings, and gave the club enough confidence to stage its very first real ale festival.

The festival started on the 01/08/04 and technically finished on the 10/08/04, and I am pleased to say it has been judged a success.  Several beers were on sale from local brewery's, in fact two beers were on sale from the Tigertops Brewery which is situated a couple of hundred yards up the road (you cannot get any more local than that !).  Beers were also on offer from Fernandes, Red Lion, Anglo Dutch, Whitley Bridge and Boat breweries, also Tetley's Imperial was on offer.  Having sampled many (if not all !) of the beers, often returning to the "sanctity" of the snooker room to do so, I can honestly say that the quality of the beers was excellent, and the bar staff were very cooperative in giving "top ups" on request when necessary.
So to summarize the festival was a success and may become an annual event, also as well as the guest beer (currently Young's Waggledance) there are another two real ales on sale (currently Fernandez empress of India and Anglo Dutch Witterus), as well as the staple cask Tetley's bitter and mild.  This has all helped to place Alverthorpe WMC firmly on the real ale "map" of Wakefield, as well as converting some members from the "smooth menace".

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