Chester’s CAMRA Beer Festival Goes Down a Treat

Commemorative glasses were free for everyone ©Pete Thornton

Commemorative glasses were handed out to everyone who attended. Pic:Peter Thornton

OVER 1800 beer enthusiasts descended on Chester racecourse over the weekend as the Cheshire beer festival found a new home.

The Cheshire Beer Festival, which has evolved from the Chester Real Ale Festival, had for the past seven years been held in Guildhall on Watergate street before finding its new home at the racecourse.

Branch contact for Chester and South Clwyd Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Mr Craig Papworth said:  “The move to the Racecourse is partly because we were constrained at the Guildhall by the fire limits which meant we were only allowed about 400 paying customers and staff,”

“The facilities at the racecourse seem to be ideal, so hopefully we will be back next year but it might depend on whether this year is a financial success and whether the venue is available on a suitable date.” He added.

According to Mr Papworth, virtually every brewery in Cheshire was represented including The Pied Bull Pub on Northgate Street, while 40 of the county’s finest ales competed for the Champion Beer of Cheshire award.

The winner ‘Midnight Stout’ produced by Woodlands Brewing Company will now go forward to compete in the Champion Beer of Britain which will be announced at the Great British Beer Festival at Kensington Olympia in August 2015.

Veteran attendee and volunteer at the event, Mr Stephen Slack, 53, from Handbridge said: “What’s not to love? Great beer, great company and supporting a great organisation.”

“I always go to the CAMRA event and will continue to go in the future.” He added.

105 casks of real ale, the equivalent of 15000 pints were distributed to punters throughout the weekend at the festival.

Among the beers and ales represented was the Champion Beer of Britain (CBoB) – Boltmaker, brewed by Timothy Taylor brewery in the Pennines of West Yorkshire.

The festival also featured entertainment in the form of a 65 piece choir, a selection of cover and folk bands from all over britain and a magician, while the catering was provided by the Racecourse and its staff, all of which gave their services for free.

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