Nine ales to try at the East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of ale and cider lovers descended on Bury St Edmunds for the first day of a popular festival.
The 28th East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival kicked off at the Apex and Charter Square today, and the four-day event runs until Saturday.
Thousands of people are expected to attend over the course of the four days, with a total of 173 beers and 33 ciders on offer.
Festival-goers will also be able to relax outside and enjoy live music from the Sound Stage, while also tucking into a variety of food offerings from stalls such as the Crusty Pie Company and Carduso’s Kitchen.
‘Meet the Brewer’ and ‘Meet the Maltster’ sessions are on offer, plus book signings and talks by beer writer Roger Protz.
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Speaking at the first day of the festival, Martin Bate, organiser, said: “We’ve got beers from as far north as Orkney and as far south as St Austell in Cornwall.
“We’ve got 173 beers and 33 ciders and we’ve also responded to the feedback we had last year about things people weren’t so happy about.
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“They mentioned about not having any food so now we have five food vendors in the square, they mentioned about not having enough seats so not only have we got the seats in the Apex both downstairs and upstairs, we’ve also got seating outside so we’ve got seating for about 200 people here.
“We’ve got live music and entertainment in the afternoon and evening and children’s entertainment on Saturday afternoon so something for everyone.
“Last year, we had 4,200 people and that was up 15% on the previous year and that was mainly down to advertising and good weather. This year our marketing has gone far beyond what we’ve done before.
“My personal estimate is 4,500, others have suggested we may have more. I’m looking at a full-looking hall on Wednesday afternoon so they might be right.”
NINE TO TRY
Festival organiser Martin Bate has chosen nine ales from among his favourites on offer at the event.
1. Big Job (St Austell, Cornwall) ABV: 7.2% Style: Strong Bitter Colour: Gold
Festival Location: 133 - (Strong and Unfined Beer Bar - Main Hall) Availability: Good
2. Blackberry Muffin Porter (Three Blind Mice, Cambridgeshire) ABV: 5.5% Style: Dark Colour: Dark
Festival Location: 168 - (Brewery Bar - Upstairs) Availability: Good
3. Burton Ale (Burton Bridge, Staffordshire) ABV: 4.8% Style: Strong Bitter Colour: Copper
Festival Location: 24 Availability: Good
4. Cliff Edge (Orkney) IPA ABV: 4.7% Style: Strong Bitter Colour: Pale Copper
Festival Location: 87 Availability: Good
5. Dark Mild (Timothy Taylor, West Yorkshire) ABV: 3.5% Style: Mild Colour: Dark Ruby
Festival Location: 115 Availability: Good
6. Gravediggers (Church End Warwickshire) ABV: 3.8% Style: Mild Colour: Dark
Festival Location: 30 Availability: Good
7. Heavenly Matter (Moonshine, Cambridgeshire) ABV: 4.1% Style: Gold Colour: Straw
Festival Location: 73 Availability: Good
8. Old Peculiar (Theakston, North Yorkshire) ABV: 5.6% Style: Dark Colour: Dark
Festival Location: 113 Availability: Good
9. Prince Bishop Ale (Big Lamp Tyne and Wear) ABV: 4.8% Style: Strong Bitter Colour: Gold
Festival Location: 013 Availability: Good