Top 10 Beer Festivals
This is the one, with the beer list put together by Alex Hall .. a legend in his own lunch time and a musical programme put together by the one and only Atilla the Stockbroker. What more is there to want?
Photographs from Glastonwick 2013
2015 will see the twentieth anniversary of Glastonwick so Attila has promised us a weekend to remember .. but the general consensus of opinion was that he would be hard pressed to top 2014!
TV Smith - Gary Gilmore's Eyes
Headsticks - Flatline Town
John Otway at Glastonwick 2014
Carter USM - Glastonwick 2011
The Men They Couldn't Hang 2 - Glastonwick 2011
The Piranhas - Tom Hark - Glastonwick 2012
A fine example of a local Beer Festival (boasting the second largest selection in the UK) held at the East Anglian Railway Museum, where railway enthusiasts can mull over all things railway over a pint or two of quality ale kept in tip top condition whilst the loin fruit can crawl over the engines and get shouted at by the aforementioned enthusiasts. This was where Blur played their first ever gig and their 2009 reunion so you never know who you might bump into. Bar Humbug is now a regular feature of this wonderful event as the brewery elves G, Professor Scales and Mr Nugget declare that this is the coolest festival.
- Stowmarket, Museum of East Anglian Life
'Stow' is the Anglo-Saxon word for 'Principal place' and was granted a Market Charter in 1347 by Edward the Third hence 'Stowmarket' ... in case you want to impress people at parties. Open throughout the year as a fine museum and every June the Abbots Hall is opened to the local CAMRA who put on one of the cosiest festivals on the social calender, family friendly and with lots to keep the children occupied. We have even laid on The Kings Arms by the Stowmarket railway station for the livener as you arrive and the nightcap as you leave.
- Gibberd Secret Gardens, Harlow
So secret I didn't even know it was there! Sir Frederick Gibberd was the twentieth Century architect who was consultant architect planner for Harlow development, but none of us are perfect. His house and gardens has works by John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Henry Moore amongst others and once a year this garden is opened up to the local CAMRA branch who lay on a splendid Festival; small and intimate but in a fascinating setting ... miss it at your peril. 2010 and Cherry Stout won the Gold. When Sir Fred was a guest on Desert Island Discs his favourite piece of music was the third act from the Marriage of Figaro. His luxury item was a bottle of sleeping tablets, the same choice of Dame Ninnette de Valois ... Jimmy Govern was more practical, choosing Haemorrhoid Ointment (all that sitting on the beach). A smaller version of Bar Humbug on Tour will be there in 2012
In 1209 students were chased out of Oxford and this is how Cambridge came to be a seat of learning (allegedly). Now Cambridge is even more student friendly with three festivals a year; a Winter Beer Festival held at the Student Social Club; the Summer Beer Festival held on Jesus Green; and the Octoberfest back at the Student (extremely) Social Club. One of my favourite CAMRA branches, and not just because of the plaudits they rain down on me (Gold in 2000 and Silver in 2010). A warm summer under canvas and not a Boy Scout in sight. Come and say Hello.
Jake Clemons Musical Meanderings at Cambridge Beer Festival
- Pigs Ear Beer Festival
A festival for the afficianado .. one of the most selective festivals in the Country where they concentatrate on beers that are not available elsewhere .. if you have a taste for adventure then this is the one.
Humpty Dumpty was the nick name of the great cannon used to defend Colchester in the seige of 1648, during the English Civil war. Mounted on a wall near St Marys Church, enemy fire hit the tower wall causing it to fall on to Humpty. Colchester was a Royalist stronghold and the best endeavours of the beseiged Kings forces were insufficient to re assemble the cannon (or, if you prefer 'all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again'... you won't find that on Wikipedia!
Named the Kings Town upon Hull by Edward 1st in 1299, home to William Wilberforce, Mick Ronson ... and me. Where men are men, women are women and Tribbles are small furry animals with an active reproductive cycle. Not so much a beer festival as a pilgrimage. An opportunity to meet up with old friends, to talk with people about Freddie Trueman, Michael Parkinson and Proust with individuals who have the same accent/speech impediment as I have. One day I will master the city centre one way system.
- Burwell Fox
From the Anglo Saxon "Burh" meaning fort and "Well" being a spring, on the edge of the Fens so on a good day you can see Lincolnshire (I made that bit up). Bob and Lou have been running this pub for a few years now and I think that they have got the hang of it! August Bank holiday weekend with good food, music and one of the biggest selections of Real Ale and Cider I have seen laid on for a village pub Beer Festival.
- Attleborough London Tavern
- National Winter
Nottingham Beer Festival is held in the grounds of the 11th Century Nottingham Castle and has the largest selection of beer of any Festival in the UK. Nottingham was the birthplace of D. H. Lawrence and is famous for lace making, bicycles (it was here that the Raleigh Chopper was born), religious sculpture made from alabaster ... oh yes and one of England's earliest outlaws Robin Hood ... first mentioned in a 15th century rhyme 'Robin Hode in Scherewode stod', and that was before Beer Festivals!
- St Neots .. Booze on the Ouse
Details to follow.
The County Town of Essex, mentioned in the Domesday Book, an eleventh Century travel guide. Again a Winter and a Summer Beer Festial. The Summer Festival claims to equal Cambridge Beer Festival in size.
Details to follow
then .. did I say ten ? .. well number eleven is ..
- Cambridge Rock Festival
Is this a music festival with a beer festival attached or a beer festival with music? 2011 we have everything from Caravan to John Otway to the Quireboys to Chantel McGregor playing and over 50 different real ales ... you decide! (and there is always the warm up music/beer festival on 16th and 17th April in Haddenham)
|One of the problems with CAMRA beer festivals is all the fat bearded men with sandals though it has to be said that Eric, a bricklayer from Plaistow, scrubs up well.|
|St Brendan, Patron St of Beer Bellies and Dark Beers, in recognition of his sterling work putting on Chappel Beer Festival .. we drench the poor sod!|
Chappel also hold a smaller, cosier, more intimate Winter Beer Festival, it was so warm, cosy and intimate that in 2014 I slept on the stillage ..