Real Ale Festival celebrates 30th anniversary

Warwick Real Ale Society held its 30th annual Beer festival last week. The festival, first held in 1979, is the longest-running annual society event on campus and has grown to become the largest student-run beer festival in the UK.

This year’s event took place in the TES from 27th-29th November, and embraced “a wide diversity of beers, including unusual beers from small breweries, and all the favourites from big breweries”. The festival boasted over 200 different beers, including a diverse selection ranging from the ‘Orkney Skullsplitter’ (8.5% A.B.V.), to ‘Nobbys’s Wild West Ale’.

The festival also aims to promote local beers from Warwickshire, such as the ‘Purity Mad Goose’, or the ‘Warwickshire Lady Godiva’, made in Leamington Spa.

As well as beer, it also offered fruit wines and ciders, such as the popular Weston’s Old Rosie, and the lesser known Gwynt y Ddraig Haymaker. There was also the “infamous turbo-purple” on offer, which was over twice as strong as usual purples, topped up with blackcurrant wine rather than the usual juice.

Ed Carpenter, of the Real Ale Society, told The Boar that this year’s event was “better [than last year], because there was live music, more food and a greater variety of drinks”. There was a greater capacity because the event had to me moved from The Cooler to the considerably larger TES. He went on to say that the most popular ale amongst punters was the Dark Side of the Moose from Porthmadog.

Alex Morris, an engineering student, was attending the festival for his third consecutive year, and said that it was “better than ever, with a merry atmosphere”, and that his favourite drink was Broadoak’s Kingston Black because it was “strong and fruity”.

This year the festival also had a hog roast and live music, featuring Dr Busker who is referred to as “Britain’s last Victorian pub pianist,” folk-rock band Treebeard and the Warwick University Brass Band.


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