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9th Spring Ale & Steam Weekend, May 20th & 21st 2017

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale


Records are Shattered Again!


     The increasingly popular Ale and Steam Weekend run by North Cotswold CAMRA was a huge success despite poor weather on the Saturday morning with all beer and cider selling out by close of play on Sunday at 4 pm.


   Held at Winchcombe Station with 23 beers and 10 more at Toddington Station with 9 ciders also available split between the two locations. This encouraged train travel between stations for customers to experience the full beer range and also reduced delays in serving the beers.


  The train journey time between stations was just right to consume a pint and be ready for the next one.


  An early outing for Merchant Navy 35006 during preparation for the weekend >>



^ Ready with the Beers in Winchcombe Marquee ^


^ Also ready with the Glasses ^


^ More Winchcombe Beers in the Waiting Room ^ >


  The second bar at Toddington proved very popular and seemed first choice for many as the starting point. Toddington provided the first beer to run out which was North Riding Mosaic at 4.3%, a very popular brewer from Scarborough. This is therefore the Beer of the Festival closely followed 10 minutes later by one of Winchcombe’s offerings, Donnington Gold at 4%. Congratulations to the team at Toddington who also won last year.


   Clder of the Festival was Bartestre Kingstone Black at 3.5% served at both stations though Toddington sold out first.


^ Toddington ^


^ The Winning Beer at Toddington ^

  All of the beer and cider was sold out with Saturday much the busier of the two days and a good range was available through to Sunday particularly at Winchcombe since Toddington was reduced to 4 beers on Sunday. Overall sales were a record at 33 bbls and all of the cider and Perry. Most people also chose to retain their Festival Glasses sponsored by 2016 POTY winner the Craven Arms at Brockhampton.

  The half pints were most popular along with our new half pint tankards sponsored by the Crown & Trumpet at Broadway celebrating 30 years in the GBG who also sponsored the staff polo shirts.


^ Wet Weather in Winchcombe on Saturday did not deter ^


  Congratulations to Festival Coordinator Martyn Herbert and John Stocks for beer selection.


  Martyn had an accident prior to the Festival in Exmouth and is in hospital recovering and John Stocks finalised the beer selection which was excellent as usual. Also thanks to Cider Coordinator James Fry who ordered "quality" local ciders and Perry all well received.

   Rob Brady, Good Beer Co again provided the National range of beers including the North Yorkshire range at Toddington. 11 local beers in the Marquee went very well with Donnington Gold, Shakespeare Bard and Goffs Spring Ale all competing with the Mosaic as potential winners.


  Thanks to Goffs, North Cotswold and Prescott Breweries for sponsoring the programme and providing racking. 700 programmes were issued over the weekend.


^ Cider Sales at Winchcombe ^


  The Railway were delighted with the extra custom and rail travel. Andrew Smith our GWR point of contact felt it had been a huge success and reported new record train travel on the Week End with 70 more than last year from Cheltenham.

   Membership Secretary Garry Hayward recruited 9 new members for CAMRA over the event again a record for this event dominated by hard core CMRA members.


  Many thanks to all our superb helpers who are invited on our Day Away at Gloucester and the Regional POTY coach tour.


^ Winchcombe Helpers ^


   Most of all, many thanks to our fantastic customers who turned up to drink us dry. Look forward to seeing you all at the 4th Summer Ale & Steam on August 18th to 20th. Note a new session at Winchcombe on the Friday 12 noon to 4 pm as a starter.


    Report by:   Roger Price, Branch Chairman & Festival Director