BEER ON THE WYE ALMOST BECOMES CIDER ON THE WYE!
Riverside festival requires two major restocks of the cider bar in 24 hours - and the beer doesn't do bad either - with 20,000 pints of beer, cider and perry sold in a single weekend.
Last year, Beer on the Wye fell victim to flooding and was cancelled on the second of three days. However, brilliant sunshine this year ensured the festival set new records for both attendance and beer (plus cider) consumed. Even Andy Murray's best efforts couldn't dent people's enthusiasm to attend the festival, as a diverse mix of people soaked up the riverside atmosphere along with some great cider, perry and beer.
Mark Haslam, one of the festival team, explains:
"We were determined not to give up after last year's wash-out, and we have been vindicated with a record-breaking festival. Over the three days 6,000 people visited, and between them drank 20,000 pints. Our bars served 13 pints every minute across the 22 hours the festival was open to the public. This year cider and perry was so popular that we had to restock the cider bar not once, but twice - and we started out with 500 gallons (and over 120 different varieties) in the first place! In fact, Beer on the Wye almost became Cider on the Wye! An improved catering offer this year, along with some great live music also helped."
Two local breweries won prizes in the Champion Beer of the Festival competition. Ledbury Brewery, based at Trumpet near Ledbury, won the Silver Rosette with their Ledbury Dark and Malvern Hills Brewery won the Bronze Rosette with their unusually-named beer, Dodgy Banker. The overall winner was a beer from Alloa in Scotland.
"Beer on the Wye is run by 120 unpaid CAMRA volunteers and they need to be thanked for their stalwart efforts. It was hard work, but it's always great to see so many people enjoying themselves drinking a variety of quality real beers and ciders - many of which are local. Any cash surplus from the festival will be used to support our local pubs. Times are very difficult in the pub trade at the moment. Our publicans need as much help as they can get. Herefordshire CAMRA launched a new on-line county pub guide earlier this year, and will be rolling out further initiatives to promote pubs throughout the year. It's all very well enjoying good beer and cider, but it is important not to forget we need the pubs to drink it in."
The new Herefordshire on-line pub guide can be accessed by clicking on "Local pub-finder' on this website.
Plans are already advanced for next year's tenth festival over the weekend of the 11th to 13th July 2014.
STATS FROM FESTIVAL:
Attendance = over 6,000
Pints drunk = 20,000
Volunteer staff to run festival = 120
Size of venue = 9,000 square feet of canvas next to the River Wye
130 different cask beers
121 different draft ciders and perries - every one of them from Herefordshire - probably the greatest number of local ciders and perries under one roof ever assembled in the county!
41 foreign beers - including from countries as diverse as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Australia and the United States
Champion Beer of the Festival Competition results:
Gold Rosette = Joker IPA from Williams Brewery, Alloa, Scotland
Silver Rosette = Ledbury Dark, Ledbury Real Ales, Trumpet, Herefordshire
Bronze Rosette = Dodgy Banker, Malvern Hills Brewery, Malvern
Champion Perry of the West Midlands results:
GOLD award: Painted Lady (medium) perry from RATHAYS CIDER & PERRY of Sutton St. Nicholas, Herefordshire.
SILVER award: Alpaca (medium) perry from ROSS-ON-WYE CIDER & PERRY of Broome Farm, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
BRONZE award: Worcestershire Perry (medium dry) from BARBOURNE CIDER, Worcestershire.
ADVANCE NOTICE: BEER ON THE WYE X:
Next year’s event will be held on Friday 11th July to Sunday 13th July, 2014 at Hereford Rowing Club, Greyfriars Avenue, Hereford. HR4 0BE.