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CAMRA Beer Festivals

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Find Out What Real Ale Tastes Like
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How do you like to spend your day off? My dad likes to spend it with a beer. Fortuitously, his rest day landed on same date as the Great British Beer Festival. He spent the whole afternoon sampling a whole range of different beers from various breweries, only to come home with dozens of leaflets announcing yet more festivals are on the way.

I never knew so many beer festivals could be held in a year, let alone the next four months. Most of these events are hosted by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. Set up in 1971, CAMRA is on a mission to get the British public drinking the proper stuff. The best way to do this of course is through awareness, which is why I guess they have so many beer festivals.

So what is real ale? Real ale is brewed using traditional ingredients such as yeast, hops, barley, and water, which is then left to mature in a cask, from which it is directly served. It provides a much more mature and developed taste than beers that have been filtered and pasteurised.

If you want to taste the best beers around, then check out one of CAMRA's festivals. They are happening all over the country, so there hopefully there will be one near you. Anyone who is a member of CAMRA gets discount or free entry.

Lytham Beer & Cider Festival
Lowther Pavilion, West Beach, Lytham, FY8 5QQ
4th - 6th September, 3-4

The festival include a free programme with tasting notes, souvenir glasses, family room for under 18s, live entertainment, ninety real ales, and world beers.

Ulverston Beer Festival
Coronation Hall, County Road, Ulverston, LA12 7LZ
4th - 6th September, 2-3

The festival will feature over eighty real ales and ciders, with food available throughout. There will be live entertainment on Friday and Saturday from 8pm.

Tamworth Beer Festival
Assembly Rooms, Corporation Streets, Tamworth, B79 7DN
4th - 6th September, 3-4

The festival celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It will feature over ninety ales, ciders, and perries. As well as cask beers, there will also be a bottled beer stand, and places to buy souvenir tankards and t-shirts. Children who are supervised are allowed in until 5pm, and live music will be performed on Saturday evening.

Hinckley Beer Festival
Atkins Building, Lower Bond Street, Kinckley, LE10 1QU
11th - 13th September, 3 - 10

The festival will feature over sixty-five beers from local breweries, as well as a few new breweries from further afield. CAMRA will be judging the East Midland's bitter beer entries for the Best Beer of the Year, and there will be live entertainment from rock band, Weirdfish, and local band, The Press.

Elgood's Brewery Beer Festival
Elgood & Sons, North Brink Brewery, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 1LW
25th - 27th September, 3-4

There will be over a hundred and fifty beers from East Anglican breweries, live bands, and on Thursday night, Dr Busker will perform.

South Benfleet Real Ale & Cider Festival
South Benfleet Social Club, Vicarage Hill, Benfleett, Essex, SS7 1PB
4th - 7th December, Free

A small affair, this festival organised by the South Benfleet Social Club is free and welcome to all. It features of twenty ales and ciders, folk and morris dancing, and a live performance from The Thameside Mummers.
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Why? Get a taste of real ale
When: 4th Sept - 7th Dec
Phone: 08450727807
Where: Across the UK
Cost: Free - 10
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