The Brewery Tap beer festival last weekend was very successful… almost too successful with approximately 1600 pints of beer & cider in the beer tent sold on Friday & Saturday leaving only the 6 ales at the bar left on Sunday. First beer to sell out was WB-40, a limited edition beer brewed by the West Berkshire Brewery to celebrate 40 years of CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale).
The beer with the most votes was surprisingly the Scott’s 1816 by Copper Dragon. The tap has several more firkins of this in the cellar and is still available at the bar if anyone wants to swing by and taste what all the fuss was about.
The first cider to sell out was the classic scrumpy Old Rosie, quickly followed by all the rest on Saturday afternoon. The surprise seller and possibly the crowds favourite was the Broadoak Medium Sweet, followed by the Old Bristolian.
Over three hundred sausages, twenty bowls of beef stew and nearer thirty bowls of Chilli were also sold.
The success of this beer festival shows how much interest there is in good quality ale, and also the success that CAMRA has had in the last 40 years. When CAMRA was formed 40 years ago, there were only a handful of breweries left, and most pubs were only serving Keg beers such as Watney’s Red Barrel and Double Diamond. We now have over 800 breweries. The problem now is to change the beer tie laws and encourage national pub chains to allow tied pubs to have more guest beers. The other problem is that duty on beer was raised by a further 7.2% in last week’s budget (despite the Chancellor saying there was no change, what he meant was there was no change to the already agreed 2% above inflation rise agreed in previous budgets). This means most beer will be 10p/pint more.
The Brewery Tap supports CAMRA by offering members a 15p/pint discount on real ales.
This weekend is the Broad Face’s first beer festival, which also has an impressive list of mainly local beers… I will post the list in the next post.