Beer Festival

The first Chippenham Beer Festival was held in the Neeld Hall in 1992. In 1994 the Neeld Hall was unavailable and so with some trepidation the venue moved to the Studio Hall of the Olympiad Leisure Centre. The festival went without a hitch and has been at the Olympiad ever since. In 2012 we celebrated our 21st Birthday.

Branch members remember there being too much beer and not enough customers the first year and Paul Hawkins spent the night in the Neeld Hall keeping wet towels wet whilst Alan Powell fly posted all the towns cash dispensers!  Second year had too many customers not enough beer. By year three we had the balance right!  Beer sales increased year on year from 500 Galls to over 800 gallons in 2010 with customer numbers rising from approx 1300 to nearly 1900 in 2010

Due to alterations in  2011 the Studio Hall was no longer be available for Beer Festivals but with help from the Olympiad staff and area management we have secured the use of the main sports hall at the Olympiad for the 2011 festival. This enabled us to hold on to a venue that is right on the river Avon, which is superb, especially for sunny Saturday afternoon sessions, and is also close to main road and rail links.
The added benefit is the Olympiad staff who contribute so much to the smooth running of the festival. Finally of course our volunteer staff without them we wouldn't have a festival at all.

Gordon Bridgman Award

Gordon Bridgman enjoyed the Chippenham Beer Festival very much and after his sad death his wife donated a trophy for the branch to use as an award. The committee decided it would be best used to thank individuals and organisations that support the Chippenham Beer Festival. To this end we award the Gordon Bridgman Trophy after the Chippenham Beer Festival each year.

 

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Chippenham Beer Festival 2014

Thank you to the 1,900 customers who came and supported the 
23rd CAMRA Chippenham Real Ale, cider and perry festival held 
at the Olympiad. Not only were we blessed with wonderful weather, 
but everyone demonstrated that a festival such as ours becomes 
a real success when everyone comes to enjoy these natural drinks 
at their finest. It is also wonderful to see everyone disperse at the 
end of each session, peacefully ; a real credit to our customers
I would also like to thank the volunteers who made this festival possible along with the staff at the Olympiad who remain wonderful at helping us whenever we need it.
Please support the wonderful small breweries and cider producers and support your local, particularly if they stock this fine stuff.
Cheers
Gareth MacDonald
Chairman Chippenham Beer Festival Committee
NWWilts CAMRA

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Beer of the Festival, as voted for by festival goers: Goose Eye - Over and Stout

Cider of the Festival, as voted by festival goers: Hand Made Cider - Spring Surprise.

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Charity donations

Thanks to Festival goers generosity St John Ambulance and Melksham, Calne & Chippenham
branch of the Wilts & Berks canal trust received over £500 each...Fantastic..Thank you all.

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Chippenham Beer Festival 2013

Its all over for another year...Thanks to the Olympiad staff, all the volunteers, festival goers and not forgetting the sub-committee of course, who made this another successful festival.

Festival Chairman may well pen a mini report here so watch this space.
Also look out for photographs in the Photo Gallery in the next few weeks.Images

Beer of the Festival (as voted by those attending)

1st      Dark Star, American Pale Ale (last years runner up)

2nd     Box Steam, Evening Star

Cider/Perry of the Festival (as voted by those attending)

1st      Westons, Old Rosie & Handmade, White Lable joint 1st place.

3rd      Handmade, Crazy Diamond

At this years festival we were also asked to set up a blind tasting panel to chose a beer from the South West Region to go forward to the national final.
Each CAMRA beer Festival in the South West had been asked to vote on one particular beer type i.e. Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Stout etc.
The winner from each one of those festivals was available at the Chippenham Beer festival and our tasting panel, after blind tasting, chose Walkers, Old Freddie Walker as the beer to go to the National Final....it was hard job but someone had to do it!

Gareth MacDonald – Chairman of the Beer festival sub committee
Dave Maloney – Chairman NW Wilts CAMRA

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Chippenham Beer Festival 2012

Is now over for this year ........Everyone we spoke to was having a great time. Many spoke of the great atmosphere, even in a large well lit sports shall, friendly and helpful staff and of the great range of ales and ciders.

The lack of music on Friday night was accepted by most festival goers who wanted to meet friends and chat whilst enjoying the drinks available.

Pop back at look at the photo gallery which will have photos from this years event fairly soon.

Thanks to the Olympiad for their wonderful support, thanks to the musicians for their sessions, Thanks to all our hard working volunteers but most of all Thank You to all those that attended and made it such a great event…..Hope to see you all again next year.

Beer of the Festival (as voted by those attending)

1st      Oakham, Citra

2nd     Cairngorm, Trade Winds and Dark Star, American Pale Ale

Cider/Perry of the Festival (as voted by those attending)

1st      Moles - Black Rat Perry

2nd     Westcroft - Janets Jungle Juice

3rd      Sherston Cider - Special Reserve

At this years festival we were also asked to set up a blind tasting panel to chose a beer from the South West Region to go forward to the national final.
Each CAMRA beer Festival in the South West had been asked to vote on one particular beer type i.e. Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Stout etc.
The winner from each one of those festivals was available at the Chippenham Beer festival and our tasting panel, after blind tasting, chose Arbor Ales, Oyster Stout as the beer to go to the National Final....it was hard job but someone had to do it!

Gareth MacDonald – Chairman of the Beer festival sub committee
Dave Maloney – Chairman NW Wilts CAMRA