Raise a glass to glorious real ale at Luton Beer & Cider Festival

All hail the ale!
All hail the ale!

Organisers of the 32nd Luton Beer & Cider Festival are hoping to beat last year’s figure of 2,000 visitors when this year’s event brings barrels of community fun to High Town.

Fans of real ale and real cider will gather at Active Luton’s High Town Community Sports and Arts Centre from Thursday, February 19 to Saturday, February 21.

It will be the ninth year in a row that the South Bedfordshire CAMRA event has been held at the venue’

Festival organiser Mike Coombes said: “Last year around 8,000 pints of glorious real ale were savoured across the three days in an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment.

“Local members of the Campaign for Real Ale give up their time to organise what is one of the region’s favourite beer festivals. It’s a fixture in the calendar that thousands of people look forward to every year and it will be great to see real ale fans flocking to us again during this half term.

“As CAMRA’s name suggests, we are a campaigning group and this year we will be highlighing the plight of the Great British pub. Locally we have not been immune to the alarming trend of pub closures. We want to highlight the risks and what people can do especially in this General Election year, when politicians are very sensitive to public opinion.”

The festival is a great chance for people new to real ale to try different styles. As well as a choice of more than 100 real ales, real ciders (apples) and real perries (pears) there will be a wide selection of bottled beers from Belgium, Germany and elsewhere.

Hot and cold food, provided by Active Luton, will be available at lunchtimes (up to 2pm) and in the evenings up to 9pm. There will be live entertainment (in the Theatre Hall only) on Friday and Saturday evenings. Music will be provided by 50s/60s-style rock ‘n’ rollers The Flaming Cortinas on Friday and local rockers Cerberus on Saturday.

Visitors will also be able to join CAMRA, the benefits of which include free entry to many beer festivals. Paid up CAMRA members can get in free to this year’s festival while non-members pay £3 on Thursday and Friday and £2 on Saturday.

Visit southbeds.camra.org.uk/luton-beer-festival.php for more details.

The festival is staffed entirely by volunteers who give up their free time to ensure Luton’s festival is as good as ever.