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Beer festival draws the crowds
ORGANISERS of the Swindon Beer Festival have hailed this year’s event a success as record numbers turned out to enjoy a tipple.
People poured in to the Steam Museum for the popular gathering held by the Campaign For Real Ale, for the 26th year.
The three-day festival, which sold out on Friday evening, concluded on Saturday and featured more than 100 beers, including some from as far away as the Orkneys and the Isle of Man.
As part of Camra’s LocAle campaign, the focus of this year’s festival was locally brewed beer.
Wiltshire breweries were well represented, with Arkells, Ramsbury, Plain Ales and several others on tap, and there was also a broad selection of cider and perry.
In order to determine which beers qualified, organisers produced a map showing the distances of local and not so local breweries from Steam.
If the brewery was within 30 miles’ travelling distance of Steam it was classified as LocAle.
Hans Hoffbauer, the chairman of Swindon and North Wiltshire CAMRA, said: “It went really well.
“We had record numbers and I am just recovering from the strain of it all.
“We have interesting beers that people may not have the chance to try and we have a lot of stuff for fans of real ale.
“All of the real ales are from different parts for the country, as well as the local beers that have been produced within 30 miles of Swindon.
“I don’t think that real ale is a dying hobby, in regard to sales compared to lager yes it is a small hobby but recent figures have shown that real ale drinkers are on the rise where as lager sale are becoming stagnant.
“There are enough people to make the festival worth putting on and it is a real success which is pleasing for the organisers.”
There were also more than 20 ciders and perries, the most local of them coming from the back gardens of Highworth.
The Highworth Business Group, a bunch of volunteers who have helped turn apples and pears into fruit juices, ciders and perry, were at the festival for the second time.
To find out more about the festival or where to find a real ale pub visit www.swindoncamra.org.uk .