morebus are thrilled to be named the official transport partner of Poole Beer Festival, taking place on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October at the St. Aldhelm's Centre in Branksome.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter profile to be in with your chance of winning free tickets to this fantastic event.
Organised by the East Dorset Branch of The Campaign For Real Ale, this year’s Poole Beer Festival will mark the 20th Anniversary since the inaugural event. In that time the festival has grown from thirty something ales represented at the first to the eighty seven plus beers which will be available at the end of October this year. This growth reflects that of real ale in general and there are now over a thousand breweries across the United Kingdom, all producing their own range of beers from the three basic ingredients of water, barley and hops. Established local brands such as Ringwood, Hall & Woodhouse and Hop Back have been joined by a host of smaller breweries across the county. Some are brewing mainly for their own pub such as Isle of Purbeck at The Bankes Arms, Studland, Hattie Brown Brewery for The Square & Compass. Worth Matravers and Way Out Back Brewery in Southbourne while Vibrant Forest, Lymington are now producing large quantities of bottled beers for the export market, look out for them when you are next on holiday! A few have opened tap rooms on their premises and the popularity of these can be judged by the large number of people who frequent the bars at Eight Arch, Wimborne and The Sixpenny Brewery, Cranborne during their opening hours which are mainly at the weekend. Keen observers at Eight Arch Brewery will note the certificate on the wall proclaiming how the breweries beer has been enjoyed by those in The Houses Of Parliament Bar no less. The Malt & Hops in Southbourne is now the headquarters for the successful chain of Brewhouse & Kitchen pubs which are located throughout the South of England, each brewing their own range of beer in the brewery contained within. Brewing day packages are offered at each for those who would like to get involved and learn more about the process.
We try to ensure that all of our local brewers are represented at Poole Beer Festival, the awards collected by many of them being testimony to the quality of the beers they produce. These are complemented by a selection of the finest ales from across the country, either suggested by members of our CAMRA branch or chosen for their recognition in national awards presented by CAMRA and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) on an annual basis. To mark the festivals 20th anniversary, we have also selected four beers which were available at the first event, quality ales which have stood the test of time while all of the various styles will be represented with super hoppy IPA’s sitting side by side with malty milds, dark rich stouts and one or two barley wines. Gluten free options are becoming increasing common and these will be highlighted on the menu. The introduction of natural flavours into ale is a growing trend and can help a breweries product stand out from the crowd. Chocolate, ginger and coffee are more commonly used but amaretto, peach, mint, grapefruit and cherry will also be found in various beers at this year’s event. New for October will be a small selection of keg beers which will be supplied by Knight Life Brewery with the brewer present throughout the weekend to sell them and excel the virtues of this upcoming trend on the real ale scene.
For those wishing to sample beers from oversees, we have a bottled beer bar staffed by a former manager of the foreign beer bar at The Great British Beer Festival and we’ll have twenty three ciders and parry’s selected by our subject experts within the branch for those who find these drinks more to their taste. Here too there will be many from local producers such as Dorset Sunshine near Christchurch and Cranborne Chase near Farnham. While customers have always had the opportunity to vote for their favourite beer of the festival, for which we present a certificate to the winning brewery, last year was the first in which we did the same for cider and the winner of this, Mad Hatter’s Farting Dog will be back to defend its title this year. With a line-up of ciders which include examples infused with rhubarb, salted caramel and chilli amongst some outstanding traditional offerings it is sure to be given a run for its money if it is to win the award again.
Away from the bar, the vicarage lawn provides a great place to chat with friends and enjoy the last of the autumn sunshine while the marquee erected upon it provides seating and tables within for those wishing to bring a picnic to graze on while sampling the drinks. Hot dogs, bacon or cheese rolls and snacks are available from our kitchen for those not wishing to bring their own food. The CAMRA Membership and Meet the Brewer Stands are also located in the marquee with the former enrolling new CAMRA members in return for free beer tokens to use at the bar and the latter playing host to a number of local brewers who will be there to answer questions about their brewery, the brewing process and the industry in general as well as provide tastings of the various brews they produce. Dorset Sunshine will be representing cider producers on this stand for the first time in October. These will be joined by Dorset Homebrew who will be discussing home brew techniques and selling the kit and accessories while Andy Smooth returns on Saturday evening with his energetic mix of pop and rock covers which are sure to have many dancing along in the main hall. Poole Hospital Charity are firmly established at the festival, selling raffle tickets to raise money for this vital cause, the prizes for which are donated by ourselves and a number of local breweries. They regularly take over £1600 at the event which is entirely down to the generous support of our patrons.
As can be seen, this year promises to be a great event and if your passion for real ale and cider is as big as ours then Poole Beer Festival will be the place to be. Tickets for the four sessions which take place on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October are now on sale and available from our website https://eastdorset.camra.org.uk/, the East Dorset CAMRA Festival Team look forward to seeing you there.