Working as a centurion helped Mark prepare for Wakefield Beer Festival

Mark Gibson, of Wakefield CAMRA, working at the Great British Beer Festival
Mark Gibson, of Wakefield CAMRA, working at the Great British Beer Festival

He served an unusual apprenticeship to learn the ropes for next month’s Wakefield Beer Festival.

This summer Mark Gibson dressed as a centurion and donned a fez while training at The Great British Beer Festival in London.

Mark Gibson, of Wakefield CAMRA, working at the Great British Beer Festival

Mark Gibson, of Wakefield CAMRA, working at the Great British Beer Festival

Mr Gibson, 43, took CAMRA’s bar management course in readiness for his new role as Wakefield Beer Festival organiser.

But as well as fancy dress and silly hats theme days the software engineer also learnt the finer points of health and safety, bar construction and beer ordering.

He said: “I felt if I was going to tell somebody to do something. I better have a bit of knowledge about it.”

Not that he intends to be giving many orders at the well-oiled machine that is Wakefield Beer Festival.

He said: “They’ve been doing it for a long time. There are a lot of experienced volunteers. My role as organiser is just letting them get on with it. They know exactly what to do.”

The successful festival has been under the stewardship of Albert and June Bradbury for many years and they will also be on hand this year to dispense expert advice.

Mr Bradbury is still putting the finishing touches to the beer list but expect 120 ales from far and wide, plus plenty from closer to home. These will include one brewed by Mr Gibson at James and Kirkman in Pontefract last week.

The ale doesn’t have a name yet but it is a six per cent golden beer made with Brewers Gold hops. Mr Bradbury has also been brewing a special with Clark’s.

You can try them at Wakefield Beer Festival between November 7 to 9 at The Space on Waldorf Way, off Denby Dale Road.

The three-day event will also feature ciders and perries.

Ticket prices are £4 for all sessions, except for Friday night’s session when it is £5 and by advance ticket only.

Advance tickets can be bought from selected real ale bars but these are selling out fast. At other times it’s pay on the door. More information can be found at www.wakefieldcamra.org.uk/festival