Ale and Arta
Put the dates of 1st and 2nd June in your diaries as you won't want to miss the 4th edition of the Arta Beer Festival taking place in the town on those days which by a triumph of planning fall on a Friday and Saturday!
As usual the festival dedicated to the amber nectar takes place in the Amfiteatre de Na Batlessa, a public space in the town centre near the theatre which lends itself perfectly to an event like this holding a multitude of people and ideal for live music.
This most sociable of sociable events kicks off on Friday evening at 18:30 when the dozen or so beer taps open swiftly followed by the highlight of the night – the maridaje – not a Mexican musical group but just the right combination of food and beer to match each other and bring out the best flavours. The evening rounds off with live music courtesy of Madona (a local band, not you know who.)
Saturday's the big beer day with tons of craft beers from the bottle and the pump to sample, a home brewing competition, tastings (which cost extra and have to be booked in advance) and talks. For the less serious about beer, general quaffing takes place from the bar opening at 11:00 onwards with a kids' club (you have to put them somewhere) from 11:30 to 14:00, a live Swing fest with Jazz Bouncing, SwingSick People and Sour Hour at 12:00 and more live music at 20:00 from The Kings of New Orleans and at 23:00 with VAL.
Promoted by the council and a local beer appreciation society its aim is to highlight what a really great place the town of Arta is – and I can vouch for this as I've holidayed there in the past – and to help expose the great variety of local brews available as an alternative to the big national beers that people think are typical of Spain.
It's totally free to get in, and sounds like a perfect way to spend a day or night. See you there?