Swindon Beer Festival 2013
The 27th Swindon Beer Festival takes place at the STEAM Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2EY from Thursday 24 October to Saturday 26 October. This is our seventh festival at this wonderful venue.
More details later...
Swindon Beer Festival 2012
... 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.
The Location map below shows where the Swindon Beer Festival takes place.
Swindon Beer Festival 2011
The 25th Swindon Beer Festival at the STEAM Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2TA 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
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
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:
|2nd||Old Bear||Sun Bear||4.2%|
|3rd =||Castle Rock||Harvest Pale Ale||3.8%|
|3rd =||Fyne Ales||Avalanche||4.5%|
|3rd =||Pit Stop||Sump||7.0%|
Here is the final beer list.
Swindon Beer Festival 2009
The 23nd Swindon Beer Festival was held at the STEAM Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2TA for the third year running from Thursday 29 October to Saturday 31 October.
Here is the final beer list.
Winning entries for various competitions
Champion Beer of the Festival
Fyne Ales - Avalanche
Runner Up: Green Jack - Orange Wheat Beer
Prospect - Silver Tally
Runner Up: Blue Monkey - Original
Tring - Phantom Monk
Runner Up: Moles Molegrip
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
Green Jack - Orange Wheat Beer
Runner Up: Wem Cherry Bomb
Swindon Beer Festival 2008
The 22nd Swindon Beerex was held at the STEAM Museum, Kemble Drive, Swindon SN2 2TA 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.
Click on beer list (PDF) to display what was on offer. This is the final list.
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. Just click on photos to display some great images.
The beer of the festival was Eddystone from South Hams Brewery in Devon.
Click on the beer list to display what was on offer.
Thamesdown provided a flexible bus service between National Trust HQ (see map below) and Fleming Way
via the railway station and Regent Circus on Thursday and Friday night at 10.10, 10.40 & 11.00pm.
How many beer festivals have their own bus services?!
To display a poster in a new window click on Poster.
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.
Unfortunately the Mechanics Institute fell into disrepair and could not be used as a venue again. For further details on the Mechanics Institute please visit the New Mechanics' Preservation Trust Ltd at New Mechanics.
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 two very successful Swindon Beer Festivals at this location. It looks as though we might be here for some time with a bigger event than before:
STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway
Click on postcode for a Google map.