ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section

[Campaign for Real Ale logo © CAMRA]

Winter Ale Festival Breaks All Records

Firstly, many thanks to readers who attended the Cambridge Winter Ale Festival in January - and apologies if you came along but couldn't get in. With a change of venue (to the Shire Hall Club) and a change of date (to the end of the month) we didn't know what to expect. As it turned out, both venue and date obviously suited folk as attendances went through the roof - we sold 40% of the beer order on the first evening, normally a quiet session!

An obvious consequence was the need for emergency beer supplies and we are truly grateful to Milton Brewery for pulling out the stops and locating all those extra casks (we ended up selling more than twice the amount of ale we began with). Given the short notice, it was inevitable that quite a lot of the beer was Milton's own produce; just as well that they brew such a wide variety, though by the end of Friday night it was looking a bit like a Milton Brewery Beer Festival.

Apologies also for the lack of food on sale. We were let down at the last minute by the Shire Hall Club themselves, who were supposed to be supplying a range of hot and cold food but whose internal staffing problems prevented this.

Will it all happen again next year? At the moment, we don't know. The Shire Hall Club itself has gone bust and closed down. The building is owned by the County Council, who say they want to see a similar kind of facility come into being, but whether any successor operation would welcome the festival's presence remains to be seen.

Assuming we can get it together, we'll certainly need more staff if we continue at the same rate of busy-ness. It's never too early to register your interest!

Beer of the Festival results

Congratulations to Wissey Valley, a new brewery from Norfolk which rose from the ashes of the erstwhile Captain Grumpy's brewery, which was based at the Ship, Brandon Creek.


ALE Spring 2004 No. 313 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA