24th East Anglian Beer Festival gets underway in Bury St Edmunds

Organiser Chrisy Roden at the East Anglian Beer Festival in Bury St Edmunds.

Organiser Chrisy Roden at the East Anglian Beer Festival in Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Archant

Glasses of real ale are being raised in Bury St Edmunds this week to toast the return of a major regional beer festival to the town.

Colin Gray (SARS), Ben Hall (SARS), Keith Bailey, Roy Cheesman, Gary Millington and Andrew Bluett en

Colin Gray (SARS), Ben Hall (SARS), Keith Bailey, Roy Cheesman, Gary Millington and Andrew Bluett enjoy a pint at the East Anglian Beer Festival - Credit: Archant

Organisers say the first two days of the 24th East Anglian Beer Festival, which is being held at the Apex until Saturday night, have been quiet.

However, they are expecting an influx of beer enthusiasts and those simply curious to try one of the 95 real ales and 15 different ciders on offer over the next two days.

All of the 51 breweries and 11 cider companies attending the event - organised by the west Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) - are independent and come from East Anglia.

Festival organiser, Chrisy Roden, said Friday was normally the busiest night. She added: “I can’t believe this is out 24th year. We used to run the festival from the old Corn Exchange before it became a pub, but the Apex is a bigger venue.


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“We usually see a mix of visitors including the diehard enthusiasts who sit around the table discussing the beers and others who simply come along with their friends for an evening out.

“At one time, we would get people queuing around the corner on the Friday and Saturday, so hopefully we will get a good crowd in over the next two days.”

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Among the speciality beers on offer is a 20th anniversary brew from the Old Chimneys Brewery in Market Weston near Diss. This is a fairly potent brew at 11% alcohol so is only being sold in half and third pint measures.

The festival is open from noon to 11pm daily and admission is £3 to non CAMRA members and free to members.

This year the festival will make a donation to two local charities - Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) and Headway.

Any local charity that would like to be considered to benefit from next year’s festival can contact Chrisy on 07713 590743 or email billbenkim@sky.com

Prospective volunteer helpers are also welcome to get in touch.

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