A self-proclaimed cask ale crusader from America is set to make a weekend pilgrimage to visit a beer festival in Castleford.
Joe Gold will join other beer lovers from the USA, Norway and the south of England for the first SPBW (Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood) WoodFest at the Horse and Jockey pub on Church Street.
The festival, which is the first of its kind to celebrate beers served from traditional wooden casks, has garnered significant interest from ale aficionados, with more than 400 tickets sold to date.
Breweries from across the British Isles have also signed up to showcase their beers at the event to seize on mounting public appetite for wood-conditioned beer.
Mr Gold first found his love for cask ale as a brewer at Young’s Brewery in Wandsworth in 1986, but is largely starved of real ale in America.
He said: “The missing piece in America is the pub cellar man. They just don’t exist. So breweries don’t finish and treat the cask ales correctly.”
After receiving an invitation from festival chairman Rob Shacklock, he jumped at the opportunity to make the trans-Atlantic journey. He added: “I can’t wait to join the crowd at the first ever SPBW WoodFest.”
Mr Gold will by flying out today for the festival and flying back to Baltimore in Maryland on Sunday – a 14-hour door-to-door trip. But he is not alone as 15 other members of Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore chapter of the SPBW will also be making the trip across specifically for the festival.
The event will run from today to Saturday at the pub, which is opening especially for the festival.
It is now home to the Lagentium Brewery, the first brewery which is to have a wooden mash tun installed for the purpose of brewing since 1914. For more see www.woodfest2017.com.