North Bedfordshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale
North Beds CAMRA
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The 39th Bedford Beer & Cider Festival was held at Bedford Corn Exchange
Wed 5th to Sat 8th October 2016
Wed 4-11, Thu-Sat 12-11
Before 5pm £1; after 5pm: Wed £2, Thu £3, Fri £4, Sat £2 No advance tickets - pay at the door
CAMRA members with a valid membership card are admitted free at all times. Short pass-outs to the street are available for smokers or those needing a cash machine.
No one under 18
We do not admit children and young people under 18 into the festival. ID may be requested at the entrance.
Wheelchair users can access all parts of the Corn Exchange, with a suitable toilet in the basement and a lift serving all floors, including street level.
Real Ales - Main Hall
We offer 167 real ales arranged alphabetically on two back-to-back bars. Of these, 55 come from 19 LocAle breweries within 25 miles of Bedford.
Cider and Perry - Main Hall
We offer 52 real ciders and perries on a separate bar at the far left end of the main hall, next to the real ales. Many will come from cider makers in Bedfordshire and neighbouring counties.
English Wines - Main Hall
A small selection of fine English wines on a separate bar at the far right of the main hall, next to the real ales. We offer white and rosé wines from vineyards in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, plus two fine reds from Italy. Wine glasses will be available at the bar in temporary exchange for your festival glass.
International Beers - Howard Room (upstairs)
Draught and bottled foreign beers from Belgium, Germany and other countries. We expect one draught and one bottled beer from Bamberg, Bedford’s twin city in Bavaria.
Food - Howard Room
Hot and cold food, snacks, fruit juice and hot drinks are available from caterer Angelo St Cuthberts. Hot meals will be served every lunchtime and evening, but cold snacks and hot drinks will be available throughout festival opening hours. The menu will be displayed around the venue. Visitors may not bring meals bought elsewhere into the venue.
Soft Drinks - bars on both floors
Still water and fizzy soft drinks are available free of charge from the Cider and Foreign Beer bars for drivers or anyone needing a change from beer or cider.
Glasses - Main Hall
Lined pint and half-pint glasses sponsored by Charles Wells are available on sale or return for £2.50. Cash in your glass when you leave or take it home as a souvenir. All draught beers and ciders are sold in full, half and third pint measures.
CAMRA Shop and Tombola - Main Hall
A wide range of clothing, breweriana and CAMRA books, including the new Good Beer Guide 2017 published in September.
Unusual prizes can be won on the tombola or the Shut the Box game for 50p a go.
Engraver - Main Hall
Colin (The Pewter Scribe) will put your name or a message on your glass or other suitable objects. Please note that engraved glasses cannot be returned for a refund.
Chocolate - Howard Room
Visit the Merry Berry chocolate and beer matching stall to add a different flavour to the festival.
Live entertainment - Main Hall
Wednesday evening - Sloop Groggy Dogs
A local male voice group offering songs of the sea, folk and drinking songs and lively shanties. Their regular performances bring you Adventure, Peril and Regret, from whence (in their humble opinion) all song is born! sloopgroggydogs.co.uk
Saturday lunch - Bedford Morris Men
Our annual visit from Bedford’s own Morris dancers, possibly with a few guests in tow.
Saturday evening - Kerry Jo & Carlos
An experienced, Bedford-based professional singer, actor and vocal coach, Kerry Jo has sung in venues from Ronnie Scott’s in London to BB King’s in New York. Her training as an actor and broad vocal range, makes her an outstanding vocalist and performer. She last appeared at Bedford Beer & Cider Festival in 2013. www.kerryjohodgkin.co.uk
Leave your coat and bags safely in the basement cloakroom run for charity by the Bedford Lions Club.
The organisers are grateful to Charles Wells for sponsoring the festival glasses and to The Pewter Scribe for designing our festival logo and sponsoring our street banner to be flown over Silver Street before and during the festival. Local film company Future Legend Media has kindly produced an online video promoting real ale and the festival - click the link on this page to view it.
Local businesses are invited to sponsor beer or cider casks for a £50 fee, in return for A3 size adverts displayed on the bars throughout the festival. For further information, email Peter Argyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 822698.
The festival is organised and staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. All CAMRA members are invited to help. Staff receive free beer or cider of their choice and a discount on food when on duty. To volunteer, please click the link above to open the online staffing form.
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