Beer Festival Report 2016

BEER FESTIVAL ORGANISER’S REPORT

The Festival opened with 72 real ales and 24 ciders/perries. That is a total of 5184 pints of beer & 845 pints of cider. By Saturday night 4464 pints had been consumed, an increase of 12% over last year and 700 pints of cider, a slight decrease on last year.

The festival was officially opened by Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, Deputy Mayor of Hinckley. He is a previous member of CAMRA and told us that he loves Real Ale.

The first beer to sell out on Friday evening was Cornish Chough Cadgwith Crabber, which is a 4.3% Golden beer, and of all our beers, had the most carbon miles having been brewed at The Lizard in Cornwall, the most Southerly brewery in the UK Mainland.

The number of visitors was very similar to previous years travelling from London, Sheffield and via a minibus from Birmingham. Due to the diverse beer list, this year we saw a significant rise in CAMRA members visiting the festival. One visitor who makes a point of coming to Market Bosworth and Hinckley every year lives in Bilbao, Spain.

We signed up 16 new members, 11 of whom live within our branch area. A few shirts and CAMRA books were sold including 32 2017 Good Beer Guides.

Champion Beer of the Festival was Eight Arch Corbel, a 5.5% Best Bitter from Wimborne in Dorset. Corbel is SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers Association) South West – Gold Winner 2016 – for strong bitter and pales. SIBA has different categories to CAMRA. A close second was Gyle59 Elderbeery Stout, a 7.3% Speciality Stout from Thorncombe, also in Dorset. In fact the breweries are 50 miles apart. Church End’s Bats In The Belfry, their 5.6% Wheat Beer, came third. We received nominations for 47 different beers. In addition we received a number of requests to be able to vote for a Champion Cider of the festival.

We had sponsorship for the glasses this year and after a great deal of effort we finally had sponsors for all the beers and several ciders. The Branch is grateful to all the local businesses and individuals who sponsored

On the Thursday afternoon a team of 8 trained tasters judged EMCBoB (East Midlands Champion Beer of Britain) 2017 – Stouts. Although some of the East Midland’s 8 nominees were ineligible because of unavailability, they tend to not brew stouts in the summer, Gold went to Castle Rock Sherwood Reserve, at 4.5%, Silver – Dancing Duck Dark Drake, 4.5% and Bronze – Totally Brewed Papa’s Voodoo Stout also at 4.5% and described as “The Grandaddy of stouts.

We received excellent media coverage from the Hinckley Times, Radio Leicester and Facebook.

A donation of £170 was made to Richard Clarke of the Vulcan Trust by Hinckley and Bosworth CAMRA Chairman David Finn, Branch Treasurer Bethan Moore and officer Mike Broadhurst.

Julian and Silvia at Café Español were as obliging as last year and they are already looking forward to next year’s festival.

Thanks go to everyone who helped at, and with, the Festival in any way.

NEXT YEAR

As reported in the Hinckley Times work is already underway for next year’s 10th anniversary festival which is being organised in conjunction with Hinckley and District Museum and will celebrate the lives of three brewers who were born and worked in the borough, namely William Bass, 2017 is the 300th anniversary of his birth in Castle End, William Butler of Mitchells & Butler and William Worthington who lived in Orton-on- the-Hill.

Report delivered by Chris James - Hinckley Beer Festival Organiser

Photos courtesy of Alan Cooke