‘Cosy’ winter beer festival to attract hundreds of ale drinkers

The Chappel Winter Beer Festival is one of the most popular CAMRA events in the country. Picture: AR

The Chappel Winter Beer Festival is one of the most popular CAMRA events in the country. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Hundreds of thirsty ale lovers are set to enjoy a tipple at this year’s Chappel Winter Beer Festival as it gets set to return for 2020.

The CAMRA-organised summer and winter festivals, at the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel and Wakes Colne station, have become among the UK's best-known beer gatherings in the country.

Organisers say this year's event, from 11am to 11pm on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29, will include about 60 beers and 10 or so ciders and perries.

The winter festival is a prelude to the longer summer event, which this year is due to run between Tuesday, September 8 and Saturday, September 12, subject to final confirmation.

Organiser Brendan Sothcott said of the event: "The summertime one is quite big with a large crowd. The winter one is a bit more cosy.

"If you're a real beer enthusiast, the winter one is a bit more compact but you still get a good range of people there. It is quite friendly in that way."

He also pointed out the the Chappel Winter Beer Festival is one of the few events in the country to benefit from effectively having its own train services.

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Greater Anglia services stop at Wakes Colne on the Marks Tey to Sudbury line, providing an easy way of getting to and from the event.

"We're trying to promote real ale in the area and promote the railway museum," said Mr Sothcott.

The busiest time at the festival will Friday evening from 5pm, with entry after that time restricted to only those who have pre-purchased tickets.

For the rest of the time, tickets are £3 on the door. They are free to CAMRA members.

Even though organisers say they "always plan to have more beer than we think you can drink", they pointed out they can only have one barrel of each beer - meaning some of the most popular drinks my run out by Saturday evening.

For more information, visit www.chappelbeerfestival.org.uk/winter/

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