Herefordshire CAMRA


Big changes are afoot for next year’s festival

Those of you who found yourselves down by the River Wye in Hereford back in July - for the seventeenth outing of Beer on the Wye - may have read in the festival’s programme that changes are planned to be made to the field where it is held. The adjacent Hereford Rowing Club (HRC), who own the field, are planning to provide new facilities to launch boats onto the river, which will mean the loss of a corner area of the field nearest to the HRC clubhouse. It had become evident that the loss of ground would make it impossible to accommodate the giant festival marquee where it is in the future. Thus, as we served close to 6,000 happy people over the festival weekend, the question on our lips was: would this year’s festival prove to be its swansong?

However, all is not lost. In late August a joint site meeting was convened at Hereford Rowing Club allowing all to fully scrutinise and discuss the plans. There was a consensus from all parties involved that it would be a disaster to kill-off Beer on the Wye. A way forward needed to be found and agreed where the HRC can still progress their scheme and Beer on the Wye would remain as a highlight in the city’s events calendar. That we have manged to achieve.

Thus, probably 2024, otherwise 2025 will see the biggest change yet to the festival, when the main marquee will be rotated through 90 degrees, and will run parallel and adjacent to the field’s boundary fence with the Sea Cadets’ premises next door. This means the festival will showcase all the same bars, beers, ciders and bands, but - as a bonus - festival-goers will (for the first time) be able to see the River Wye from any point they might be in the field. It’s actually going to be better than what has prevailed up until now. Most importantly, it means the festival is safe for the foreseeable future.

Festival creator and organiser Mark Haslam had this to say about the news: “We were genuinely worried that we might have seen the end of Beer on the Wye. Certainly, there was no wish on our part to stymie the plans that the Rowing Club have developed for improving access to their riverside facilities. I believe we can now make the festival even better than it was. It’s almost as if this very real threat has ultimately proven to be a great opportunity.”

In October planning will start in earnest for next summer’s Beer on the Wye, which will run over the weekend of the 12th-14th July, 2024.

Meanwhile, this year’s winner of the accolade of Beer of the Festival was Valour, a stout at 7.1% ABV from Torrside a brewery situated at New Mills, in Derbyshire’s High Peak district. Our usual custom is to present the winner’s certificate at the brewer in the following spring, so this promises to be a very interesting trip

Another dark beer, the diminutive Lucky 7 Brewery’s Beertrix Porter was crowned Herefordshire Beer of the Year. It is only in the last twelve months that the Hay-on-Wye based operation had shifted across Hay to the part of the town that is in Herefordshire. What a Herefordshire debut that turned out to be! It was just one amongst over 130 different cask beers, which were joined by over 190 different ciders and perries. Topping this lot were over 50 different international brews to try (including a number on draught tap); eight food concessions, plus eight live bands gracing the festival stage. In a single weekend over 22,000 pints were consumed. It was all quite some show… and the weather (most of the time!) played ball too.

Mark Haslam had this to add in conclusion: “I need to thank our many supporters, suppliers and sponsors for helping to make Beer on the Wye happen. However, more important still, is to salute the 120 unpaid CAMRA volunteers who worked both tirelessly and enthusiastically to deliver another epic festival”



Gold TorrsideNew Mills, Derbyshire Valour 7.1%
Silver Lucky 7 Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire Zoo 4.1%


Gold OrgasmicGreat Parton, Herefordshire White Jersey 6.0%
Silver Henhope Dormington, Herefordshire Sweet Cider 4.2%
BronzeMayfayreUpper Dormington, Herefordshire Wasp Whisperer4.2%


Gold Newton Court Newton, Herefordshire Panting Partridge 5.3%
Silver Snailsbank Bishops Frome, Herefordshire Very Perry 5.3%
BronzeTy GwynPontrilas, Herefordshire Blakeney Red6.0%