CAMRA Peterborough and District branch
Wednesday 25th August 2010
I visited this, the second largest beer festival in Britain on a Wednesday and a Thursday. It is held on a meadow by the side of the river Nene in portable buildings. These are not tents but solid structures, see photo. I'd like to mention the good points first. Over 350 beers, and a magnificent selection as well. In my mind even better than the National Jamboree at Earls Court. Lots of well-known and not so well-known ciders. Good food stalls. Plenty of room inside. Minus points are not greater than the plus points but were preventable. I know we have unpredictable weather but it's almost certain it'll rain and this time it was well predicted. Between my first visit and the second, a day later, there had been a lot. Previous visits to this festival have always found the area outside the buildings to be treacherous, so I was reassured when I walked on wood-bark chippings in the entrance.
However the first visit to the toilet proved that nothing else had changed. You enter and leave the site just once in each direction, but how many times do you go to the toilet at a beer festival?! I don't understand why there is such a long walk across the meadow's quagmire to get to the otherwise excellent facilities. But please note that the staff toilets are within easy reach of the bars so that the worthy volunteers and organisers never have the experience of the customers. So, great beers, awful layout. Yet well worth a visit in good weather.
For further details on future festivals please see website: www.peterborough-camra.org.uk