Harrogate is gearing up to welcome its first ever Beer Week, the brainchild of local beer communications specialist Rachel Auty who has secured backing from Harrogate BID to help bring the idea to fruition.
Running from 20 – 26 September 2021, Harrogate Beer Week will present an inclusive, week-long, town-wide celebration of Harrogate beer, local brewing heritage, and beer in the community, inviting pubs, breweries, artists, musicians, cafes and restaurants to celebrate all things beer.
A programme of special events will be hosted at bars, brewery taps, and eateries across Harrogate. The event will culminate in a big beer weekend in the town centre. Other features on the programme will include an ‘Indie Beer Trail’, live local music, and a home brewing competition, with some big names in UK beer heading to Harrogate to host a range of talks and tastings.
Harrogate Beer Week will be delivered by beer and pubs champion, Auty, under her specialist food and drink brand TASTE. It’s not a beer festival in the traditional sense, and it’s intended to bring something new to the town, disrupting the norms of the perceived ‘brand Harrogate’ and embracing a new perspective on what Harrogate has to offer.
Rachel says: “This brand new event will be a spotlight on the very best of what’s on offer in Harrogate and will be created and delivered by people who actually live and work here, and know the town. I would love it to become an annual flagship event that is proven to deliver direct benefit to the town centre, independent beer and food businesses, and will have a notable positive impact on the wider town, including retail, accommodation providers, and leisure facilities.”
Rachel runs her own Harrogate-based marketing and events company, Raucous Agency, and she launched the TASTE brand in 2020. Having run beer events for a number of years she has wanted to make Harrogate Beer Week a reality for sometime, having begun conversations with Harrogate BID back in 2019. After such a brutal year she’s excited to get the event up on its feet “I’ve watched the Harrogate beer scene flourish over the last 8 years and I believe we are ready to step up and show off a bit. I’ve worked alongside national beer and leading names in the industry and there’s no reason why Harrogate can’t stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the bigger beer destinations and other beer week destinations like Leeds and Sheffield. Having lived in the town all my life I know the place well, and I have great links to our indie pubs, bars and breweries. It’s been such an awful 15 months and I am determined to bring some beer-themed joy back to our indies and communities this autumn – as well as helping to inject some money back into the local economy.”
Prior to Covid ‘beer tourism’ had become an incredibly fast-growing and key area of focus for struggling high streets and town centres. It can bring new footfall to a place, boost the local economy, and keep the high street buzzing – especially in tougher political and increasingly challenging economic times.
Pre-2020 the UK beer industry contributed £23 billion to the economy and employed more than 900,000 people.
The north is an outstanding beer destination. More breweries have been opening in Yorkshire than anywhere else in the UK, including London. Harrogate now boasts five great breweries within a HG postcode – internationally renowned Roosters; rising star Harrogate Brewing; Turning Point, who chose Knaresborough for their expansion two years ago; Daleside, our longest-standing local brewery; and newest name on the block, Cold Bath Brewing, who are making waves across the town with their impressive beers, bar and clubhouse space. There are a number of excellent brewery taprooms in the area, which are increasingly appealing to beer enthusiasts.
Despite Covid, Harrogate is host to some of the best pubs and bars in Yorkshire – many independent, many already attracting new people to the area. There’s huge potential to capitalise on this by further boosting beer tourism in Harrogate through a programme of dedicated beer and food events, collaborations, special offers and time-limited products, alongside a regional marketing drive.
Harrogate BID Manager Matthew Chapman said: “We’re really excited to be supporting September’s Harrogate Beer Week, particularly as it will involve a host of local bars and pubs.
“It will be a fantastic opportunity for beer lovers to have a pint or two in different venues, which as an organisation dedicated to driving footfall into all parts of the town centre appealed to us.
“And whilst it’s still a few weeks away, we are happy to raise a glass to its undoubted success, and say ‘cheers, Rachel’.”
For more visit www.harrogatebeerweek.co.uk. If you’re a business or individual wanting to find out how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Harrogate Beer Week is generously supported by Harrogate BID.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
ABOUT RACHEL AUTY
Rachel has worked across the UK craft beer industry since 2017 through Women On Tap – a beer equality festival she founded that same year. Since then Rachel has established a name in the beer industry, working alongside leading UK breweries such as Cloudwater, Brew York, and Thornbridge as well as the big names on our doorstep including Roosters and Turning Point.
In 2019 and 2020 Women On Tap was shortlisted in the Corporate Communications category at the British Guild of Beer Writers annual awards.
ABOUT TASTE HARROGATE
Formally established in 2020 as part of Raucous Agency Limited, TASTE Harrogate drives footfall through strategies to reframe and celebrate food & drink excellence, with an emphasis on the indies that make our places unique.
They expertly create key events, festivals, publications and content to boost community engagement and tourism, bringing additional cash to our local economies.
TASTE is an independent body whose remit is to bring new vibrancy, expertise and profile to our cherished places through collaboration with some of the UK’s most respected hospitality experts and brands.
Press release from Rachel Auty