Swindon & North Wiltshire CAMRA

pub images
Beerex Crowd

Swindon CAMRA Beer Festival 2014

The 28th Swindon Beer Festival takes place at the STEAM Museum SN2 2EY from Thursday 23 Oct to Saturday 25 Oct. This has been our venue since 2006.


Thursday18:00 to 23:00admission £5
Friday11:00 to 15:30admission £5
Friday18:00 to 23:00admission only with ticket £10 (inc. £4 worth of beer)
Saturday11:00 to 19:00admission £4

Friday Night Tickets

Available from Friday 26 September from the following pubs:

The Beehive55 Prospect Hill, Swindon SN1 3JS
The Carters Rest57 High Street, Wroughton SN4 9JU
The Glue Pot5 Emlyn Square, Swindon, SN1 5BP
The Hop Inn7 Devizes Road, Swindon SN1 4BJ

Please note, these pubs sell the tickets without getting a commission. They do it to support the CAMRA beer festival. Don't just go there to buy tickets, do have a drink as well!

Paid-up CAMRA members will receive £2 worth of beer tokens on production of a current membership card.

Beer, Cider and Perry lists

Here is the latest beer list - click on the link to view it in PDF format-
and the latest cider and perry list - click on the link to view it in PDF format. Please note that all lists are subject to change. Final lists will be published just before the beer festival itself.

Help needed from CAMRA members

By now all volunteers will have returned their forms detailing the slots they will be working at the beer festival.
It is too late now to think about working at the Swindon Beerex.


There will be food during all sessions - hog roast Thu and Fri night.


There will be musical entertainment Thursday evening - 'Mr Love and Justice' will play Saturday afternoon between 13:00 and 15:00.

Special Festival Buses

For the Thursday and Friday evening sessions there are special Thamesdown bus services.
These will collect from the main road near the National Trust Office. The route is Kemble Drive - Railway Station - Town Centre (Bus Station/Fleming Way)
The bus costs £1 per person and leaves at the following times:-
Bus tickets are only available from the membership stall.
Please note - there is a lot of work going on near the STEAM Museum affecting the special bus service. Thamesdown Transport have advised us as follows:
"We’ve had a look at this today, and feel the safest place to pick passengers up in the present circumstances would be at the ‘Special Journeys Only’ bus stop in Kemble Drive near the junction with Fire Fly Avenue."

Special Tunnel Opening Times

On Thursday and Friday nights the tunnel into town will stay open until 23:30.

The Location map below shows where the Swindon Beer Festival takes place.

STEAM location

The LocAle map

LocAle We will be featuring local beers again - as part of CAMRA's LocAle campaign. In order to determine which beers qualify, we have produced a map showing the distances of local and not so local breweries from STEAM. If the brewery is within 30 miles travelling distance of STEAM, we have decided to classify it as LocAle.
The LocAle logo can be seen on the cask labels at our beer festival.
Click on the link to show a Google map of breweries in a separate window.

Swindon Beer Festival 2013

The 27th Swindon Beer Festival took place at the STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railways
Fire Fly Avenue
Swindon SN2 2EY
from Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October.
This was the 8th festival at this wonderful venue.
On Saturday, the final day of the festival, we started off with 92 beers. This represents an excellent selection of beers for the final day of any beer festival.

... and the winners were:

Beer of the Festival Competition
1st - St Austell, Bucket of Blood
joint 2nd - Fyne Ale, Jarl
joint 2nd - Hop Kettle, Danish Pastry
joint 3rd - Cumbrian, Loweswater Gold
joint 3rd - Two Cocks, 1643 Viscount

Swindon Viewpoint 40th Anniversary - 1979 Beerex - Celebration Ale

2013 Beerex

Arkell's brewed a special beer to celebrate Swindon Viewpoint's 40th anniversary. This beer could be sampled at our beer festival.
Swindon Viewpoint produced a video of the 4th Swindon Beerex in 1979. This is well worth watching. Please follow the link.
Swindon Viewpoint also filmed at the 2013 Beer Festival. Please click on the image to view that video.

Swindon Beer Festival 2012

The 26th Swindon Beer Festival took place at the STEAM Museum from Thursday 25 October to Saturday 27 October. This was our seventh festival at this wonderful venue.

... and the winners were:

Beer of the Festival Competition
1st - Ramsbury, Silver Pig Stout
2nd - Ramsbury, Belapur IPA
joint 3rd - Allendale, Wolf
joint 3rd - Hop Kettle, Triple Cherry Porter
joint 3rd - Titanic, Cappuccino Stout

Cider/Perry of the Festival Competition
joint 1st - Circle Cider, Butcher's Boy
joint 1st - Lilley's, Bee Sting Still
joint 3rd - Lilley's, Kingston Black
joint 3rd - Tutts Clump, Royal Berkshire
joint 3rd - Weston's, Old Rosie

Watch the movie of the 2012 beer festival by clicking here.

Swindon Beer Festival 2011

2011 The 25th Swindon Beer Festival at the STEAM Museum from Thursday 27 October to Saturday 29 October.

This has been our venue since 2006. It is large and is a wonderful venue for our purposes. We are likely to have many more beer festivals at this location.

Doesn't the light in this photograph remind you of a Dutch Renaissance painting? Come along towards the end of October 2012 and take part in another great beer festival in a wonderful setting.

Beer of the Festival Competition
1st - Ramsbury 25 Silver Pigs
2nd - St Austell Bucket of Blood
3rd - Ramsbury Deer Hunter
4th - Weighbridge Pooley's Golden

Presenting Certificates
St Austell Brewery Vince Chilcott, a long-standing branch member, recently went to St Austell Brewery in order to present the certificate for Bucket of Blood. Here is what he had to say ...
"A crisp February morning travelling to Cornwall - arrived about noon, went into the St. Austell brewery, met up with Marc Bishop and then on to meet the head brewer, Roger Ryman. We all made our way to the very busy visitors' centre, where the hard work began, having to chose from their range, settled on a pint of "Proper Job", then presented the certificate, for runner up in our beer festival (Bucket of Blood), to a very delighted Roger Ryman. The visitors' centre is a good place to come to for lunch and a drink if you are ever in the area. The certificate was then prominently displayed in the visitors' centre. Marc is keen to attend this year's festival if invited.
A sunny afternoon in Cornwall, drinking Proper Job and eating a Cornish pasty, can life get any better?"
It sounds as though Vince had a great time. An invitation to St Austell Brewery to come to the Swindon CAMRA beer festival in October 2012 seems a certainty.

We visited Ramsbury Brewery on Saturday 03-Mar-12 to present certificates for two successful beers at last year's beer festival - more details will be on VISITS page soon.

Swindon Beer Festival 2010

Festival 2010 The 24th Swindon Beer Festival was held at the STEAM Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2TA from Thursday 4 November to Saturday 6 November. This has been our venue since 2006.

This year's Swindon Beer Festival has been a great success.
We had a record number of beers. On Saturday there was still choice of over 100 beers available, so a Saturday visit is well worthwhile.
The attendance over the three days was 2213 - up on last year.
Ramsbury Brewery were present with their own bar for most of the festival.
The Saturday afternoon music by Bob Bowles went down very well too!
In other words, this has been our best and biggest beer festival to date.
However, having said all that, we may well be faced with much higher charges for the venue from Swindon Borough Council. Swindon CAMRA uses the beer festival to raise campaigning funds for CAMRA.
If that is not possible any more, who knows what will happen ...

Here are the winning beers:

PositionBrewerBeerABV Festival 2010
1stBox SteamDerailed5.2%
2ndOld BearSun Bear4.2%
3rd =Castle RockHarvest Pale Ale3.8%
3rd =Fyne AlesAvalanche4.5%
3rd =Pit StopSump7.0%

Swindon Beer Festival 2009

The 23nd Swindon Beer Festival was held at the STEAM Museum for the third year running from Thursday 29 October to Saturday 31 October.

Winning entries for various competitions

 Champion Beer of the Festival

 Fyne Ales - Avalanche

 Runner Up: Green Jack - Orange Wheat Beer

 Category Winners


 Prospect - Silver Tally

 Runner Up: Blue Monkey - Original

 Best Bitter

 Tring - Phantom Monk

 Runner Up: Moles Molegrip

 Golden Ale

 Fyne Ales - Avalanche

 Runner Up: Bowland Bowland Gold

 Mild/Stout & Porters

 Rudgate - Ruby Mild

 Runner Up: Hornbeam - Black Coral

 Stout Strong Bitters

 Arkells - Kingsdown

 Runner Up: Cairngorm - Witches Cauldron

 Specialty Ale

 Green Jack - Orange Wheat Beer

 Runner Up: Wem Cherry Bomb

Swindon Beer Festival 2008

The 22nd Swindon Beerex was held at the STEAM Museum from Thursday 30 October to Saturday 1 November 2008.

It featured over 100 beers, plus a selection of ciders and perries.

Here are the selections from the tasting panel for beer of the festival:
1st was Oakham Bishop's Farewell
2nd was Mordue All Hallows Ale
3rd was Harviestoun Shiehallion
Please click on the brewery name to visit their website.

1712 people attended this three day event. This is up on last year where we counted 1564 for all sessions.

The admission fee included a half pint souvenir glass with a line for a third of a pint. CAMRA members got vouchers for a free pint. The introduction of a third of a pint measure proved quite popular as it gave people a chance to sample more beers without drinking a lot more.

All sessions had food available with a hog roast on Friday evening. Music was provided by Bob Bowles on Saturday afternoon.

A well attended Friday lunchtime session - see below.

Buses to the railway station and town centre were laid on again towards the end of the evening sessions.

Swindon Beer Festival 2007

The 2007 Beer Festival - the 21st Swindon Beerex - took place at the STEAM for the second year from 1 November to 3 November.

This was probably our most successful Beerex to date. It got off to a brilliant start with over 500 people attending the Thursday evening session. Everybody enjoyed a huge variety of real ales, ciders and perries. There was even a stall for fruit wines. Friday evening had an even bigger attendance. Overall we counted 1564 people for the four sessions. No doubt, some people liked it so much that they came to several sessions!
It certainly was a most enjoyable event too.

The beer of the festival was Eddystone from South Hams Brewery in Devon.

Beer Festivals in Swindon

There have been CAMRA organised Beer Festivals in Swindon since 1976. Originally held at the Mechanics Institute in Emlyn Square, the last Beer Festival there was in 1983. The Mechanics Institute was offered to the local Council for £1 in 1984, but they declined to buy it because it was in a poor state, so it was closed and could not be used as a venue again.

Partially as a result of this there were no further Swindon Beer Festivals until 1994. The new venue was the New College, Walcot.

After 5 years at New College the Beer Festival moved to the Territorial Army Drill Hall in Church Place in 2000. Although the Drill Hall was slightly smaller its more central location proved very popular and it was our venue for 2000 and 2001. The Drill Hall was not available in 2002, consequently our Beerex could not take place.

In 2003 we moved to the Old Railway Museum in Faringdon Road, where we held successful Beer Festivals three years running.

In 2006 we took the opportunity to move to STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway, close to the tracks of the mainline. That year was of course Brunel's bicentenary. We have now had several very successful Swindon Beer Festivals at this location.


Click on CAMRA logo for national website