CAMRA Newark and District branch
Saturday 29th January 2011
As this was held in Newark Town Hall, I thought it would be a bigger festival It was held on the first floor, my first realisation that it was small was when I joined a queue on the stairs. They had already reached capacity and it was "one in, one out". I entered about ten minutes later. I was told that they could only accommodate two hundred drinkers, along with fifty staff. You bought a festival glass for £2.50, or hired one from a previous festival for £1.00, refundable on leaving. Tokens were £1.40 per half, a few beers had a 10p supplement.
The room was stunning, with original decoration in superb condition. The inspiration appears to be the Palais de Versailles, and there was an equally eclectic range of beers, mostly from the East Midlands. There were beers from breweries I had never knew existed. Have you heard of these: Sail, Bottle Brook, Copthorne, Dancing Duck, Funfair, Great Oakley, Happy Valley, Isle of Purbeck, Mr Grundy's, and there were others?! Very few true winter beers, more a beer in the winter than a winter beer festival. A great visit.
Sadly, this Beer Festival is no more, yet there is still the Newark CAMRA Beer Festival in the Summer. More details on: www.newarkcamra.org.uk