Beer Revere: No Indie Beer Feast, but back on the Ale Trail

It was with a heavy heart that I had to reschedule the Indie Beer Feast summer edition this August…

It’s been a tough old 16 months all round and the ability to host live music and in-person events has been non-existent. Adding into this it being a hugely stressful and anxious time for self-employed event organisers, musicians, artists, performers, and everyone behind and in front of the sectors making up the cultural industry.

Thankfully, there has been some aid through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Culture Recovery Fund for venues, launched to provide much-needed investment for many cultural organisations around the UK during the pandemic. It was extremely pleasing to see that venues like the Abbeydale Picture House successfully accessed this support, and with the 1920s cinema celebrating its 100th anniversary in the midst of the pandemic, I’m hopeful there will now be another century of joy hosted at the community-led venture.

The venue is home to the beer festival I run, Indie Beer Feast, which launched in 2018 as Sheffield’s first craft beer focused festival. It’s a wonderful space to host a beer festival and adds a real uniqueness and sense of character to the event. It’s also great to see the venue continue to evolve and uncover, improve and bring back to life its magnificent historical features and update its facilities.

It was with a heavy heart that I had to re-schedule the Indie Beer Feast summer edition this August, after March 2021 had already been written off. But after feedback from the breweries and cideries involved, and in addition to the unsure situation we’re still very much in nationally with the pandemic – especially in terms of the next steps such as booster jabs, easing of restrictions, continued vaccination roll-out and more – moving cautiously felt like the right decision. Everyone’s safety and wellbeing are my utmost priority. With the intimacy of the venue, an event of that size couldn’t have operated under restrictions such as face masks, social distancing or table service.

So, with the uncertainty back in July of what would be required, I had to move for a rescheduling of the festival date. I’m very much hopeful that means next year, in March 2022, I can run the festival as everyone would love it to be. In addition, it does mean it can coincide with a full beery calendar of fun during Sheffield Beer Week.

Beer businesses and pubs have been substantially negatively impacted over this period, and I know that rescheduling the festival was a disappointment for many, which may mean of that there’ll be plenty of you lovely folks at a loss what to do that weekend, so how about you take a look at the Indie Beer Feast Festival Trail taking place August 6th-8th instead? Hosted across 6 venues, featuring 15 breweries, 2 cideries and taking place over 3 days. BOOM.

Venues include Hop Hideout, The Crow, Bar Stewards, Shakespeare’s, Kelham Island Tavern and Saint Mars of the Desert. Look out for breweries such as Liverpool’s Neptune hosting an event at Shakespeare’s, Scotland’s Fyne Ales appearing on the taps at the Kelham Island Tavern, Norfolk’s Duration down at The Crow, Sheffield’s Lost Industry showcased at the Bar Stewards, Saint Mars of the Desert running brewery tours on the Saturday, and you can even join the Mikkeller Running Club Sheffield Chapter’s 5km fun run from Hop Hideout!

There’ll be plenty more going on, so head to the Indie Beer Feast socials to keep up with the beer lists and events. See you there!

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