Monday, 20 May 2013


 Most real ale drinkers enjoy attending a locally organised beer festival - well, I think they do!

I called in at a favourite of mine recently, namely, the Clitheroe Beer Festival. Efficiently run, as always, by the local CAMRA branch.

It's my type of festival: central town location, approx.70 ales and held in a community hall/centre venue.

They are always so typically predictable. The usual queue for the beer tokens and festival glass - as the helpful volunteers make sure you are warmly welcomed - and inform you that your vessel is refundable on return, if you so wish.

You see lots of familiar faces congregating around the entrance - usually branch members exchanging friendly banter with each other - and on hand to answer any queries you may have.

This years festival kicked-off in fine style, with actor, Ricky
Tomlinson declaring the 2013 event, officially open. He made a short speech, with his opening words being: "Real Ale, my  arse!"No, not true. Only joking!

I asked Ricky if I could have a picture of him, for my beer blog. "Real Ale Up North, eh kid!" he replied - gazing at my t-shirt. "Get yourself round here, kid, and have a picture with me."    

The festival was soon well populated, with the volunteers behind the bar, so friendly, helpful and eager to explain what the various beers on their patch, had to offer.

I usually drink in third pint measures - it's always slightly above the line! No, seriously, I like to try as many as possible, whilst still having my bearings on leaving the venue.

Definately not as many beards and beer-bellies, as last year! However, always the usual warm, friendly and talkative environment - don't we just love a well organised, local CAMRA branch, beer celebration.....Don't we? 

The beer selection is always excellent at these festivals. Approx. 80 beers and ciders at Clitheroe - just about right in my opinion - the Wadworth 'Bishop's Tipple', being my favourite quaff. The golden ale having a good depth of  flavour - crisp, refreshing, with a nice, light, bitter hopped finish.

Aye, full marks once more to the local East Lancs CAMRA. Martin Snelling and his army of volunteers running another superb event - will be looking forward to the next local one, for sure.