One of the elements of York’s annual Food and Drink Festival we find most interesting yet challenging is the Ale Trail. This boozy trawl around the city comprises of 12 participating pubs, all of which will be showcasing a selection of the finest real ales that Yorkshire has to offer.
In order to be eligible for the ale trail, all you have to pick up a free card from the festival’s central information tent, located in St. Sampsons Square in the city centre, and you’re ready to go. The Ale Trail booklet has a list of the pubs involved as well as a handy map which shows where they are located (although no promise is made that the map will make any sense further than half way round!)
Now, what makes this ale trail so tricky is the fact that the festival’s organisers offer a free t-shirt (while stocks last) to anyone who manages to get their ale trail card stamped by all 12 pubs. In all of my previous attempts neither I, nor any of the group I normally trawl round with, have managed to get their beer soaked mitts on one of these coveted pieces of apparel. Our problem may stem from the fact that we all love the ale and feel the need to have a pint at every stop, which tends to creep upon you rather quickly!
So, this year I hereby declare that we will be doing the sensible thing and sticking to halves and hopefully I will have the pleasure of posting a picture of our team in a set of lovely new t-shirt by the end of the month!
But I do seem to remember saying the same thing last time round.
Anyway, t-shirt or not, York Food and Drink Festival’s Ale Trail is an excellent walk through York’s city centre which gives the opportunity to sample some great real ale and visit some great watering holes.
Very highly recommended!
For a list on the participating pubs as well as well as links to the various events taking place as part of the 2013 festival, visit the York Food and Drink Festival website.