The tents are going up on Jesus Green ….. it’s time for the 46th annual Cambridge Beer Festival which runs from 20 – 25 May. Festival Organiser Anthony Cox downed tools to chat to me about the UK’s oldest beer festival, brought to the city by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).
A core team of 30 people start to plan the Festival in December. “We’ve got all the beer ordered by the end of March,” Anthony tells me, “and then set up and take down each last a week either side of the Festival as we build the site from scratch”. The beer arrives several days before the Festival opens so that it can rest and settle while the site is readied to welcome around 40,000 thirsty visitors over six days.
You’ll find over 200 beers from across the UK with brewery bars, staffed by the brewers, offering keg and cask beers. The Key Keg Bar gives a chance to compare and contrast key keg and cask beers, the same beer stored two different ways, while the International Bar showcases beers from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and America.
But it’s not just about the beer! The Cider Bar will feature more than 80 ciders and perries, all English and many from East Anglian producers, while the Wine and Mead Bar offers English wines in a variety of styles alongside mead, a drink made by fermenting honey and adding botanicals, from UK producers.
And you won’t go hungry either. The CAMRA Cheese Counter has a selection of bread and cheese, scotch eggs, pork pies and pickles. Food trucks parked up in the garden area will offer fish and chips, pizza, curry, falafel and vegetarian food, burgers, hog roast, doughnuts, cake and coffee.
New for this year is the CAMRA run Learning and Discovery Centre, offering tutored beer tastings and an informal area where you can drop in, chat to the experts and pick their brains about all things beer. The Family Tent welcomes children accompanied by a responsible adult and on the Saturday will feature a brass band, jugglers, face painting and other activities for kids.
Lunchtime sessions at the Festival are free entry and there’s a modest entry fee for evening sessions. You pay a small deposit for your glass (glasses this year have been branded to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landings) which you can either take away with you as a memento or hand back as you leave. Or better still, if you return your glass to the Arthur Rank Hospice stand, they will get your deposit back ….. a brilliant way of raising funds to support the Hospice’s invaluable work in the city.
Over 400 volunteers are involved in the Festival and more are always welcome. Volunteer roles range from helping to set up and take down the infrastructure, arranging tables and seating, manning the glass and food counters, staffing bars, stewarding and, of course, looking after all that beer! Even just an hour or two of your time makes a real difference at this busy event. You don’t need to be a CAMRA member to volunteer, you’ll be given full training and your reward comes in the form of food and drink.
Take a look at the website for opening times, details of the Festival beer list and more.
It’s set to be another busy month here in Cambridge with so much going on from steampunk to poetry, comedy to ceilidh and everything in between! Read on for more and please do get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event I could add in to the listing. 1st … Continue reading “What’s on in Cambridge – May”
It’s set to be another busy month here in Cambridge with so much going on from steampunk to poetry, comedy to ceilidh and everything in between! Read on for more and please do get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event I could add in to the listing.
1st 4 – 8pm Student Discount Event, 25% off at Tindalls Art and Graphics, King Street
2nd 8pm St Matthew Passion, J S Bach. Singers from Trinity, St. John’s and King’s. Cambridge University Bach Ensemble. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door.
5th 10.30am – 4pm Cambridge Vegan Market. Food stalls, lifestyle brands, cosmetics, ethical clothing, charities and more. Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.veganmarkets.co.uk/cambridge Read more about Cambridge Vegan Market here
5th 10.30am – 11pm Steampunk in Cambridge V11: May the 5th be with you! The seventh annual Steampunk in Cambridge event. Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane. http://www.museumoftechnology.com
6th 9am meet for 10am departure. The Reach Ride, a bike ride to the 800 year old Reach Fair. Free. Organised by Camcycle. Assemble in front of the Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.camcycle.org.uk/reachride
7th 8pm Rhapsody in Blue. Cambridge University Wind Orchestra and Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
8th 3 – 8pm Spring Student Night, Grand Arcade. Discounts, DJ, freebies, drinks. www. grandarcade.co.uk
11th 10.30am – 4pm Eat Cambridge. Annual food and drink festival celebrating Cambridgeshire’s independent food scene. Followed by two weeks of fringe events. Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.eat-cambridge.co.uk
11th 11am – 5pm Open Gardens, Christ’s Pieces Residents’ Association. 8 gardens open in Parker Street, Victoria Street, Clarendon Street, Orchard Street and New Square. In aid of Jimmy’s Homeless Project East Road and the Cambridge Children’s Charity. £10 ticket on the day for all gardens (children are free) from the Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road. Tea provided.
11th 4pm A Spring Concert with Rolling Thunder. CSD Brass. Free, retiring collection. St Luke’s Church, Victoria Road
11th 7.30pm Symphony 3, Mahler. City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, St Catherine’s College Girls’ Choir and St John’s College School Senior House Chamber Choir. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.adcticketing.com
15th 6 – 9pm Museum at Night. Explore the Museum of Zoology after hours and experience the natural world after dark. Age 18+ Free, no need to book. Museum of Zoology, Downing Street. http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk
16th David Parr House reopens. A terraced house and arts and craft movement treasure which was home to Victorian decorative artist David Parr. 186 Gwydir Street, CB1. http://www.davidparrhouse.org Read more about David Parr House here
16th 7.30pm Poetry at the Pub. Readings from two poets, open mic floor spots and books for sale. Blue Moon, Norfolk Street. http://www.cb1poetry.org.uk Read more about Poetry at the Pub here
17th 2pm and 4pm Puss In Boots. A ballet for children. 2pm is a Relaxed Performance. Northern Ballet. Cambridge Corn Exchange. http://www.cornex.co.uk
17th 6 – 9pm Drink and Draw. After hours sketching in the Cast Gallery with a glass of wine. Adults only, free, drop in. Materials provided, all abilities welcome. Museum of Classical Archeology, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3. http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/drink-and-draw
18th 7.30pm Mass in B Minor, J S Bach. Cambridge Chorale and Academy of Ancient Music with soloists from Amici Voices. Trinity College Chapel. Tickets on the door or from http://www.cambridgechorale.org.uk
18th 7.30pm From London to Venice: Fusing Poetry and Music. Monteverdi, Grandi, Strozzi, Caccini, Ferrari and Merula. Clare Hall, Herschel Road. Tickets from Porters’ Lodge or email@example.com
19th 5.30pm and 7.30pm The Pelicantata, narrated by Sir Tony Robinson. Come dressed as your favourite Roald Dahl character! Cambridge Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and Chorus. Choirs from Chesterton Community College and Sawston Village College. West Road Concert Hall. http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com
19th 6pm The Time of Gifts. Spring themed Medieval and Renaissance songs, traditional Spanish pieces with classical and contemporary works. The Lucy Cavendish Singers. Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington. http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk
20 – 25th Cambridge Beer Festival. Cider, perry, mead and English wine also available at this CAMRA festival. Opening times vary. Jesus Green. http://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com Read more about Cambridge Beer Festival here