THE BARRELS were rolled out for the annual Stratford Beer and Cider Festival.
Real ale lovers and cider drinkers were like the proverbial child in a sweet shop during the ninth annual festival at Stratford Racecourse on Friday and Saturday (June 12 and 13).
Organised by Shakespeare branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), this year’s event – the theme of which was ‘War of the Roses’ with around half of the ales coming from Yorkshire and Lancashire – was the biggest yet featuring 70 real ales as well as a selection of ciders and perries.
Visitors were also given the chance to try locally brewed beers from Shipston, Alcester and parts of the north Cotwolds.
The event was officially opened on Friday evening by mayor Tess Bates and the beer of the festival was voted as Earl Grey from Marble brewery in Manchester while cider of the festival was Cuckoo Spit – produced by two CAMRA members, Dave and Karen Wilson from Harvington.
Organiser Julian Stobinski said: “The 9th Stratford Upon Avon CAMRA beer and cider festival was a great success with some 1,500 visitors travelling from all over the country to sample the beers, ciders and perries on offer.
“Around 5,400 pints of beer and 1,100 pints of cider and perry from Lancashire and Yorkshire were consumed as well local breweries and producers and 50 new CAMRA members were signed up.
“Although the weather was somewhat hit and miss, the festival was a wonderful social event held in great surroundings
and we would like to thank everyone who visited over the two days and supported this year’s event – we’re incredibly grateful.”
The event also helped raise cash for the Shakespeare Hospice with festival-goers urged to donate unwanted beer tokens to the cause.
Visit www.stratfordbeerfestival.org.uk for further information.