Despite the Beast from the East part II descending on Yorkshire this last weekend, the 28th Annual Harrogate Beer Festival was launched on Friday 16th March at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. Organised by the Harrogate & District Round Table, this year’s event saw a new venue in the Majestic Hotel and as a result was bigger and better than ever, attracting more sponsors of which Crackerjack BBQ was proud to be one.

The chosen charities for this year were Saint Michael’s Hospice, Carers’ Resource, Supporting Older People and children’s charity The Rainbow Fund. Four equally deserving Causes within the community.



The Harrogate & District Roundtable, who as an organisation are celebrating their 90th year, is locally nearly 50 years old. The table consists of a group of local men who get together to try to offer help to their community in and around Harrogate whilst having some fun at the same time. The two main fundraising events the Table organise are the Harrogate Bonfire on the Stray, now in its 44th year and the Harrogate Beer Festival now in its 28th year. Membership to the Round Table is open to men aged between 18 and 45 and is a Gentlemen Only organisation. Over the last 15 years, Harrogate Round Table have raised and donated in excess of £450,000 to local charities and good causes in the area.
This year’s key sponsors were Theakston’s Brewery, Daleside Brewery, Spirit of Harrogate Slingsby Gin, DJ Mark Green, FTAV, 9xb, Raworths Solicitors, HACS Group, Fishers Removals, GetPro, Myrings Estate Agent & Crackerjack BBQ.

Obviously, at a Beer festival, you expect to find beer and this one was no different offering both keg and cask from various breweries, but there was also a fine array of ciders, wines, prosecco and gin as well as soft drinks & hot drinks and Crackerjack BBQ had the menu to match. Succulent pulled pork in BBQ sauce, aromatic Tandoori chicken wraps and golden deep fried chicken was on offer for the meat lovers. Delicate Soft Shell crab in Tempura batter and breaded plaice goujons (a posh fish finger sandwich) was available for those wanting something different and stuffed Portobello mushrooms with melted blue cheese for the non-meat eaters was readily available.

The Crackerjack Team, dressed as smartly as ever in their recognisable Black & Pink uniforms, could be seen throughout the two days not only serving from their stand, but taking the food to the sponsors and guests throughout the festival usherette style. This was especially appreciated on Saturday, St. Patricks Day, as hundreds of drinkers were glued to the big screen watching the Rugby NatWest Grand Slam 6 Nations England .v. Ireland match and thanks to Crackerjack BBQ didn’t have to leave watching the game to satisfy their hunger pangs. Other entertainment in the form of live music featured across the Beer festival with the Main stage in the Ballroom hosting live bands both nights covering everything from Mod & Ska to Brit Pop, Indie and Party tunes. The Green Room on the other side of the Hotel hosted a dance music rave and DJ Mark Green performed with live sax, percussion and dancers bringing House music classics to the dance floor. All that exercise made for very hungry people!

Dedicated to the cause of feeding the masses, a big shout out should go to Andy and his Chef for braving the winds, rain, snow storms, sleet and freezing temperatures outside on the terrace to keep the Smoker smoking and the BBQ burning to ensure a constant supply of hot fresh food throughout the ten hours the festival was open each day. Crackerjack BBQ fed 1,600 guests across the two days out of an attendance of just over 2,500 and not forgetting the Beast who popped in for a bite or two!


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