Real ale fans say cheers to festival

Real ale enthusiasts enjoy the CAMRA Beer festival

Real ale enthusiasts enjoy the CAMRA Beer festival

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

HUNDREDS of beer lovers have spent several days enjoying some of the best ales in the country at the Steam Museum.

The Swindon Beer Festival was held at the museum from Thursday to Saturday.

Each session offered more than 130 ales, ciders and perries and more than 2,000 people who attended.

Visitors even came from Bristol, Reading and Bath to make the 27th annual festival the biggest so far.

Hans Hoffbauer, the chairman of the Swindon branch of the Campaign for Real Ale said he was delighted with the response of those who he had spoken to about the festival.

He said: “All the feedback we have had so far has been very positive. “I think everyone has enjoyed themselves and there has been nothing but smiling faces.

“Every session has been very busy and attendance is up slightly on last year, which is very pleasing as it shows the people of Swindon understand what we are trying to do.

“There has been a fantastic selection of beers which you would not find in a pub, even during the final day when a few of the beers we are selling had run out.

“Not only has it been successful in terms of the reaction from people but also as a fundraising event for CAMRA.”

One wall of the Great Western Hall was stacked with barrels of ales from all over the country for people to try. While many were from local breweries, some had travelled as far as the Orkneys – 674 miles away.

As well as numerous tipples, there was the chance to purchase souvenirs and food.

And, during the Thursday and Saturday sessions, there was also live music.

Although the final glass had barely been cleared away thoughts were already turning to next year’s festival, which is hoped will be even bigger.

“A lot of preparation has gone in to make this happen and at the next meeting we will sit down and think about the next festival,” said Hans.

“There have been a number of suggestions from people, such as maybe having more music. “We will take these ideas and see what we can do.”

The festival received a resoundingly positive response from everyone in attendance, who all agreed the event was a great way to promote real ales.

Mike Goff, 28, of Stratton, said: “I think it’s really good and a good chance to try something you wouldn’t normally get the chance to try.

“It’s quite busy and everyone seems to be having a good time.”

Daniel Vizor, 24, who was drinking the Pride Of Oxford, said: “It’s not what I was expecting and there is a really relaxed atmosphere.

“Whenever I go to the pub I normally just have standard lager so it’s goodto try something different.”

Comments (8)

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12:20pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Ringer says...

Was a great event, as ever. Thanks to all involved in putting it on, here's to the 28th next year!
Was a great event, as ever. Thanks to all involved in putting it on, here's to the 28th next year! Ringer
  • Score: 3

12:55pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Empty Car Park says...

Didn't enjoy it so much this year.
Perhaps the novelty's worn off.
Seemed to lack a bit of atmosphere
Didn't enjoy it so much this year. Perhaps the novelty's worn off. Seemed to lack a bit of atmosphere Empty Car Park
  • Score: -1

1:52pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Ringer says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
Didn't enjoy it so much this year.
Perhaps the novelty's worn off.
Seemed to lack a bit of atmosphere
Or perhaps you're just miserable and jaded?

My friends and I thought it was one of the best years. Lots of familiar and friendly faces, some great live music and fantastic beers.

Only a real sour-plum could have failed to think it was a great event.
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: Didn't enjoy it so much this year. Perhaps the novelty's worn off. Seemed to lack a bit of atmosphere[/p][/quote]Or perhaps you're just miserable and jaded? My friends and I thought it was one of the best years. Lots of familiar and friendly faces, some great live music and fantastic beers. Only a real sour-plum could have failed to think it was a great event. Ringer
  • Score: 1

3:08pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Empty Car Park says...

Maybe.
Or perhaps I just have a more active social life and I'm used to better quality entertainment.
Glad you enjoyed it though. You deserve a break
Maybe. Or perhaps I just have a more active social life and I'm used to better quality entertainment. Glad you enjoyed it though. You deserve a break Empty Car Park
  • Score: -2

3:33pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Ringer says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
Maybe.
Or perhaps I just have a more active social life and I'm used to better quality entertainment.
Glad you enjoyed it though. You deserve a break
I think we both know that's definitely not the case, hence you used the prefix 'perhaps', I guess.

The Swindon Beer Festival is what it is: a well run, friendly and professional event. Is it the highlight of my social calender? Well, no, but it's a good beer festival and the town should be justifiably proud of it.

Maybe it was the people you were with that led to it being a disappointment for you, and it's a shame you felt the need to pretend it wasn't as good as usual, especially as you did so mainly to try and score pathetically tiresome personal points. As usual, you failed.

Do try harder (especially when it comes to your much-vaunted intention to leave Swindon).

The town expects better of its Rock N Roll dancers.
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: Maybe. Or perhaps I just have a more active social life and I'm used to better quality entertainment. Glad you enjoyed it though. You deserve a break[/p][/quote]I think we both know that's definitely not the case, hence you used the prefix 'perhaps', I guess. The Swindon Beer Festival is what it is: a well run, friendly and professional event. Is it the highlight of my social calender? Well, no, but it's a good beer festival and the town should be justifiably proud of it. Maybe it was the people you were with that led to it being a disappointment for you, and it's a shame you felt the need to pretend it wasn't as good as usual, especially as you did so mainly to try and score pathetically tiresome personal points. As usual, you failed. Do try harder (especially when it comes to your much-vaunted intention to leave Swindon). The town expects better of its Rock N Roll dancers. Ringer
  • Score: 2

9:01pm Mon 28 Oct 13

Empty Car Park says...

Nah.
It's definitely because my social life is way better than yours
Nah. It's definitely because my social life is way better than yours Empty Car Park
  • Score: -1

9:23am Tue 29 Oct 13

benzss says...

Wow this really is inspiringly witty repartee
Wow this really is inspiringly witty repartee benzss
  • Score: -3

9:47am Tue 29 Oct 13

SockPuppet says...

It was my second time there and I once again loved it!
Well done to all involved :)
It was my second time there and I once again loved it! Well done to all involved :) SockPuppet
  • Score: 0

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