Ales, ciders and family events at Jesmond’s Cricket Club, reports Maria Loupa
The third Real Ale and Cider Festival opens tomorrow (Thursday 3rd November) at 5pm at Newcastle Cricket Club on Osborne Avenue.
Running until 7th November, the festival offers a variety of beers to choose from: 20 real ales, 6 local brewers, and 14 brands from around the UK including award-winners Jaipur and Kipling. There will also be a selection of 10 different ciders and perries (pear ciders).
Last year’s event attracted around 1,000 people, but this year organisers say they are hoping for 1,300 to 1,400 people.“Our aim this year is to educate as many people as possible – including the many students who live locally – about real ale,” says the club’s Rob Creswick. “Local beers and ciders are part of our national heritage and culture and we should learn to appreciate them”.
The Festival’s main supporter is CAMRA, which is an independent, voluntary, consumer organisation and aims is to promote real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub. Its contribution to the festival will be a purpose-built bar with hand pumps, which will give the cricket club a more traditional, English style. Its members will also be helping with the serving of the beers and providing expert advice on the wide selection, so that people visiting can be well-informed on what they’re drinking.
The entrance fee is£2 – prices for the beers and ciders vary, but the average price for a pint will be no more than in any bar, says Creswick, at around £2.70.
Start-time on Friday is 2pm, while on Saturday the action begins at noon, with a feast of football in the upstairs Pavilion Bar – NUFC vs Everton, then Man Utd vs Sunderland.
Doors open at noon on Sunday – is traditionally the festival’s “family day,” so family activities, including face-painting, will take place from 3.30pm. On the final day, Monday 7th November, doors open at 5 pm and the festival concludes with a raffle draw for 50 bottles of real ale at 10 pm.