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.
An appeal, therefore, to our readers:
do you know of a hireable venue, reasonably close to Cambridge city centre, with a capacity of 400 to 1,000, available at an
affordable price for a Tuesday through to Sunday in January? If so, do please let us know, via
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.
- 1 Wissey Valley Khaki Sergeant Stout
- 2= Wissey Valley Farmers Market Porter
- 4 = Bartrams Old Mother-in-Law's Tongue-Tied
Hop Back Winter Lightning
Abbeydale Black Mass
ALE Spring 2004 No. 313
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Cambridge & District CAMRA