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Award winning ales, brewed on the slopes of the Mendip Hills

Beer Festival Aftermath

Thanks to every one of the 900 people that came along to our first Brewery Beer Festival!

40 BeersWe've finished the clear up and are back up to speed with running the brewery, so finally we have the time to take a few minutes to reminisce about what a great event our first Brewery Beer Festival was.

The festival started on the Friday night, with a range of 40 beers. The decision to insist that they were all major award-winners proved to be a good one as every beer had dropped perfectly bright, was well conditioned and tasting great - as we confirmed by sacrificing our Thursday evening to quality test every single one of them; such is our dedication to our work.

Our first night nervousness that no one was going to turn up was quickly dissipated when the first visitors arrived at five-thirty on Friday, half an hour before we were due to open and while we were still running around trying to put up several miles of bunting.

The BandFrom there on, it was all systems go, and the beer began to flow. There were lots of happy faces as the pioneer festival-goers who had braved the slightly damp weather to come and enjoy the beers, burgers and the band, realised that they were on to something good. Music on the Friday night was courtesy of Leonardo's Bicycle who played a great selection of their own songs and a range of classic covers that had listeners singing along.

On Saturday, things really started to get going. The sun was out and the bar was busy. Music came from Folk-acoustic act Ammokay and blues-rock outfit The Ironic Harvest. The two bands played sets throughout the day, culminating in a seriously rocking jam together at around 11.30pm that had the whole brewery dancing and cheering. Of course by this point quite a lot of beer had been drunk. Indeed, several beers had already sold out. Tellingly, the strongest ale we had, Green Jack's Ripper (8.5% ABV), was one of the first to go, along with Highland's Orkney Blast (6%) and Moor's Old Freddy Walker (7.3%).

BBQThat said, the biggest seller of the festival was our very own Beer With No Name. We had a competition running throughout the festival to name the beer, which was proving too much of a problem for us in the run up to the event. You can see the best and worst sides of our customers' imaginations here and the final result here.

After two hectic days, Sunday was suitably relaxed, the weather was glorious and the whole festival took on the air of a giant pub garden - Laid back and family friendly with plenty of beer left to drink. We were glad it quietened down a bit to be honest, because we had hangovers of our own to deal with, having stayed back for some more quality testing on Saturday night. We were soon in good company as a fair few of the previous night's revellers showed their faces again, having staggered over from the campsite for a bacon sandwich and a hair of the dog.

Festival AttendeesThe event drifted on quietly for the rest of the afternoon before we finally felt that the time was right to close at around 5pm. We had sold out of all but a few of the beers and were all starting to fall asleep on the job. We went home for a hard-earned rest with smiles on our faces, happy in the fact that we knew we had done something great - we had made a lot of people happy by providing them with lots of great beer to drink, as is always our goal here at Cheddar Ales.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to every one of the 900 people that came along to our first Brewery Beer Festival and helped make it such a fantastic event. Thanks also to the sun for shining and the rain for staying away.

Table FootballAlso, many thanks to all of our friends and family that helped in the set-up and running of the event - Ann, Becca, Ceri, Claire, Denise, Gill, Helen, Ian, Jacky, Jayne, John and his Barby Team, Lucy, Malc, Michaela, Neville, Olly, Peter, Richard and Si - We couldn't have done it without you. We hope that you enjoyed being a part of the festival and that you will help us again next year, when we will be doing the whole thing again - bigger, better and boozier.

Finally, extra big thanks to Jess for all of her help in organising and running the event, despite being heavily pregnant, and to Mike for all of his efforts over the weekend.

Cheers

Jem and John