Organisers hope that the first festival to celebrate real ale and cider in Bridlington becomes one of the biggest events of its kind in Yorkshire.
The Bridlington Real Ale festival comes to Bridlington Spa on March 7 and 8.
Bridlington has hosted low key beer festivals in the past - but the organisers of the Bridlington Real Ale festival and the Spa hope to lay the foundations for what they hope will grow into one of the most successful real ale and cider festivals in the county.
With the list of ales and ciders just about confirmed for the festival – organisers hope that people attending will have the chance to try some top quality drinks that they might not normally find in their local pub.
Festival organiser James Harper said: “We would love it if Bridlington could become a recognised real ale destination.
“There are some great pubs in the town, talk of new breweries starting up and real desire for this real ale festival to work.
“Yorkshire has been listed as a top 50 world destination just based on its brewing, and Bridlington has a better chance than other places to really capitalise on this.
“We want the Bridlington Real Ale festival to become sustainable and then grow. The Spa have been fantastic in what support they have given and now its up to the people of Brid to come along and make this a huge success!”
Festival organisers are also trying out a new Friday afternoon session aimed at the brewing and food trade.
With a focus on beer and food matching and cooking with beer – the afternoon event is open to the public and trade. There will be live cooking demo’s and talks from breweries. This event is ticket only with no door sales – tickets are priced at £8 which includes two ale tokens, festival glass and food tasting.
The main festival then gets underway on Friday March 7, with doors opening at 6.30pm.
Guests will have the opportunity to try some of the finest ales from the county, listen to great live music and tuck into some top festival tucker from the Spa.
The festival continues on Saturday March 8, doors opening at 12 noon and running until 11pm with more fantastic ale, cider, music and food.
Families with younger children are welcome during the Saturday afternoon session.
Tickets have been selling well, but organisers are urging people to not leave it to chance and make sure they buy tickets in advance.
This allows organisers to buy in the correct beer order and door entry will be capped to ensure those who do have tickets are guaranteed a good beer and cider selection.
For tickets contact the Spa box office on (01262) 678258 or buy online from www.TheSpaBridlington.com
Sponsors have been quick to get behind the festival, but organisers are still looking for sponsorship for one bar, a T-shirt sponsor and two programme slots - you can visit the festival website for all sponsorship opportunities at www.bridlington.realalefestivals.co.uk
For those not wanting to spend too much – you can sponsor a cask! This is a great opportunity as your name/company logo will appear on the cask or bar and in the festival programme. Also a large proportion of the sponsorship goes to the Love you 2 appeal - www.loveyou2appeal.co.uk – and you receive two complementary tickets for a night of your choice. Cask sponsorship is just £30 – if you are interested please contact Tracy on Tracy@realalefestivals.co.uk
To a certain extent, the festival’s success relies on support from volunteers and enthusiasts who fancy having a go behind the bar and pulling a few pints. No experience is needed for this, just an interest in beer and cider.
Volunteers get to all drink for free. As tokens are used to purchase beer, volunteers don’t have to deal with money – making it a rather enjoyable experience in trying beers and chatting to customers.
Volunteers will also receive a souvenir glass and a festival t-shirt.
There are still some spaces available for volunteers and organisers would like to see more people from Bridlington behind the bars.
To sign up visit the website www.bridlington.realalefestivals.co.uk and click on the volunteer icon.
If you don’t have access to the internet please call Paul on 07786656855 or leave your details at the Spa reception.
If you have never been to an ale and cider festival before, and you’re not really sure how it works, then the following step by step guide to enjoying a real ale and cider festival is must read:
Step 1. Make sure you get your ticket in advance. The amount of ale and cider purchased for the festival is dependent on number of tickets sold. There will be some tickets on the door but this will be limited to ensure those who have bought an advanced ticket have enough beer and cider left to drink. It is also cheaper and you guarantee your entry to the festival.
Step 2. When you arrive at the festival you will exchange your ticket for your very own souvenir festival glass – this is your drinking vessel whilst at the festival and you get to keep it.
Step 3. Buy your ale and cider tokens – will be available to buy as you enter the real ale festival – these tokens are exchanged at the bar for beer. Each token costs £1.50. If you’re drinking cider you hand over 1 token +30p to the bar staff. If you run out of tokens you can buy more at any time.
Step 4. Try before you buy. If you want to have a little taste before you commit to a certain drink – you can ask the helpful bar volunteers for a taster
Step 5. Drink responsibly. A good real and cider festival is of course about having a few drinks and a good time, but don’t drink to excess. Know your limits, have a soft drink if you feel like you have had too much and stay safe.
Step 6. Try and take notice of the different ales and ciders you are trying, check the programme for tasting notes, try something new and most importantly have a great time!