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Beer Festival promises ales for all tastes
ALE lovers from all over the region will be descending on the STEAM museum later this week for the annual Swindon Beer Festival.
It is the 27th festival and more than 120 ales from all over the country, along with 20 ciders, will be on offer.
Over the three days of the festival, which will run from Thursday until Saturday, it is expected more than 2,000 real ale fans will head through the doors.
The festival will be run in a series of sessions and already the Friday evening session is sold out.
It has been organised by the Swindon branch of the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) and is one of the highlights of town’s social calendar.
“The feedback we get from people over past events has been overwhelmingly positive and we are hoping this will be the biggest festival so far,” said Hans Hoffbauer, chairman of the group.
“It is the eighth year we have been in the Great Western Hall and it is the perfect location.
“We are able to sell about 700 tickets for each session and they are very popular.”
There will be ales from breweries from all over the country but many of them will be from local companies, such as Arkell’s.
“The ale which has travelled the furthest has come from the Orkney Islands – 674 miles away.
Hans said: “We are obviously very keen to support local breweries. CAMRA runs the LocAle campaign nationally, which promotes venues which serve ales brewed within 30 miles.
“However, we also want to give people the opportunity to try something new which they may not have tried before, so we also have some from further away.”
The event is not just for long-time ale lovers but also for those who may never have tried an ale before.
Those serving at the festival will all be CAMRA members and will be happy to offer help.
“There are dark ales and pale ales and different flavours such as ginger or raspberry, so we have everything,” said Hans.
“We ask people what they want to try and then point them in the right direction.”
Thursday’s session runs from 6pm to 11pm with tickets costing £5, Friday’s is from 11am to 3.30pm with tickets at £5, and Saturday’s is from noon until 9pm.
Tickets can be purchased on the door on arrival and include a £4 beer token. Food will be available throughout the festival with a hog roast on Thursday and Friday evening. A special bus service will also be put on for these nights.
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