The Westmorland Camra Beer and Cider Festival committee are already meeting regularly to ensure that the 2014 event is on track. This year's festival will once again be held in Kendal Town Hall, and the dates for your diary are the 8th to 11th of October. Chris Holland is back at the helm chairing the organising committee who meet monthly to ensure that all roles are filled and jobs are being done on time.
This year is the 21st year that the festival has been running, and to mark this important birthday, Ivor Chittenden (who fulfils the important task of Beer Procurement) will be trying to source some of the beers that were on sale in the first festival. The list includes several beers or breweries that have sadly fallen by the wayside, but there are also a number that are still around and may make an appearance when you visit us in October.
The original list included such beers as Shepherd Neame's Bishops Finger (a representative from Britain's oldest brewery), and Special Ale - a beer from a young maverick brewery that you may have heard of called Black Sheep. The Hesket Newmarket Brewery brewed the first 'Festival Ale', and two decades on, we are thrilled that they have agreed to brew another Ale for our 21st Festival. We are looking to provide about 55 beers and 15 ciders this year, and as ever they will cover a large range in terms of geographical sourcing as well as style, strength and character.
This year we are planning to have a number of beer tasting sessions with the Four Cs - Chocolate, Cake, Coffee and Cheese. We will be looking at the pairing of particular beer styles with these foodstuffs, and the sessions will offer an exciting opportunity for participants to try some combinations that they may not have tried or even thought of before.
Once again of course, the beer and cider offerings will be accompanied by a stall selling a range of hearty local foodstuffs - pies, speciality breads, local cheese and meats will all be back on the menu - backed up of course by chutneys and pickles lovingly handcrafted by our own David Currington (Head of Pickle). The food that is on offer is always extremely popular as it accompanies a drink so well, and helps persuade passers-by to spend their lunch or evening relaxing in our company.
Each year, there is a strong drive to attract sponsors who are fundamentally the reason why the festival is able to turn a small profit to help keep CAMRA and our Festival running. There are various levels of sponsorship which attract in return varying amounts of publicity for the companies supporting us as well as beer 'vouchers' to ensure the sponsors can attend the festival itself and sample the wares. Anyone who would be willing to sponsor the festival from as little as £50 should contact Chris Holland in the first instance.
Chris Holland, Festival Organiser, said, "We very much hope to see lots of our friends, old and new, in Kendal in October to celebrate our 21st birthday - put the dates in your diary and see you soon".