As beer sales at the 2004 Festival had more than doubled on the previous year, we started off with a record amount of beer, hoping we'd not over-ordered. We needn't have worried. The original 100 casks had to be supplemented with an emergency reorder for an extra 45 on the Friday - thanks to Milton, City of Cambridge, Iceni and Cambridge Moonshine breweries for coming to our rescue.
Beer of the Festival was Harwich Charter Ale from the recently-established Elveden Brewery in Norfolk (started by Frances Moore, daughter of Iceni brewer Brendon). It was brewed for the 2004 Harwich Winter Ale Festival and celebrates the 400th anniversary of that town's Charter. Weighing in at a massive 10%, it aimed to recreate Allsopp's Arctic Ale, brewed in 1852 for Belcher's expedition to the Arctic in search of John Franklin.
Many thanks to all who attended the Festival and made it such a success. Our apologies if you were there on Saturday night when the fire alarm went off - but the Fire Brigade were very impressed at how quickly we evacuated the building! Thanks also to the Sports and Social Club and their staff for putting up with us and to Club Steward Chris in particular who gave us an enormous amount of help. The Club provided the excellent food which was a perfect accompaniment to all those lovely beers. Finally, thanks to all our own staff who gave up their time both before, during and after the event.
All being well, we'll be back, same place, same time in 2006 (which will be the tenth Cambridge Winter Ale Festival).