Falmouth Beer Festival 2016

Saturday 22 October 2016

Cornwall CAMRA’s annual beer festival was once again a resounding success. The beer and cider festival was held at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth which is famous for its Award winning historic gardens of Gyllyndune and Edwardian bandstand. The festival was split between the main hall which show cased beers from outside Cornwall and the garden which house the Cornish Beer and nationwide ciders.

The fantastic range of 131 Cornish beers were sampled this year showcasing the large variety of Brewers here in Cornwall. The cider bar delivered over 60 ciders including a 40 gallon barrel of Badgers Arse cider and of course the legendary Granny’s Weapon Grade Ginger Beer was on standby to offer a refreshing alternative.

Prior to the festival opening a series of beer judging was conducted. Strong ales and mild’s were the beers judged for The Champion Beer of Britain (CBoB). The winners will go forward to the regional selection and then hopefully onto Olympia at the Great British Beer Festival for chance of winning the converted title. A massive thanks to the 90 beer and cider enthusiasts from all over the region who judged the beers and ciders of the Festival, the Champion beer of the festival being named as Arbor’s Yakima Valley with Champion Beer of Cornwall being named as Penzance’s Scilly Stout. Cornish winners of the best in Class were received by Penzance Brewery for Crowlas Bitter & Scilly Stout, Skinner’s for Cornish Knocker and Hops and Honey and Driftwood for Lew’s Brew. A special mention to Treen’s Brewery who in the first year of Brewing took a silver in the Best Bitter Category with Cuckoo. A full winners list can be seen on the branch website. The Winners in the ciders Gold Janets Jungle Juice, Silver Green Valley Sweet and Bronze Kingston Black. The winners of the Perries Gold Minchews Perry, Silver Newpnett Perry and Bronze McCrindles Perry.

On Thursday evening the supporters and sponsors enjoyed a pre-festival sampling session and buffet in thanks for their ongoing support. At 8pm the doors opened and it was great to see our regular festival goers alongside a whole host of new faces. On Friday and Saturday the bars were all open from 11am and as usual there was a queue waiting to start their day. The great thing about the festival being at the pavilion is the addition of the garden area where children and dogs are welcomed, making it a family occasion.

Lots of students from the Falmouth University joined the festival this year. Our young Persons representative Davis Rescola and Cider Rep Linda Dopson attended the fresher’s fair at the Penryn campus in September enlightening the student to the benefits of beer, CAMRA and the Falmouth Beer Festival. Encouraging everyone to enjoy themselves and drink responsibly.

Argos conspiracy, the Wood, Joe Hurworth, the Oll an Gwella chorus and Still Dizzy all at took to the stage treating the beer enthusiasts to top class entertainment throughout the festival. This year’s charity was the Blind at Sea (BATS) who help our visually impairs friend to get on to and enjoy the water up at Maylor Harbour. Thanks to the festival goers generosity the raised nearly £1000.

A huge thankyou has to go out to all the volunteers who throughout the year have been organising the festival, setting up and nurturing the beers in the preceding week. We cannot have a cloudy beer, not unless it’s supposed to be, so a lot of TLC and time is given to them prior to opening. Once again thank you to all of the pavilions staff who welcome us every year and to the supporters and sponsors. Without all of these fabulous people the festival would not be possible.

Cornwall CAMRA are always looking for new places to hold festivals and would welcome your ideas if you have a fantastic place in mind. We are also looking for people to get involved in organising and volunteering at the festivals becoming part of an ever-growing campaign to promote real ale, cider and perry.

Throughout the year Cornwall CAMRA organise trips to breweries, social events, festival and lots of informal get togethers. If you would like come along to a meeting and join in. Look on www.Cornwall.camra.org.uk for the diary dates, we look forward to see you there.

Sonia Bunce, Press Officer.