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Camra beer festival to return to Ashbourne in the autumn

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

By Gareth Butterfield

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ASHBOURNE Beer Festival is to take place at the town hall from October 10 to 12.

The independent festival, which is organised by the Campaign for Real Ale and happened for the first time last year, will return to the town hall in the autumn.

The first festival, which was organised by the town's beer-lovers and took place in March last year, was almost brought to its knees by heavy snow on each of the three days.

But the Ashbourne sub-branch of the Campaign for Real Ale says the support and response to the event has spurred them on to arrange a second festival.

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Chairman Mark Grist said: "We're really looking forward to bringing to Ashbourne the second Camra beer festival.

"There's a lot of planning to do still but we're not going to let anything stop us.

"Whatever the weather, we'll get on with it regardless.

"Last year's event was such a huge success, despite the weather trying to stop everyone in their tracks, so we know there's definitely an appetite for a big beer festival in the town centre and we can't wait to welcome people back to the town hall this year.

"Ever since the last one, we've been inundated with enquiries about when it might be on again.

"Not a week goes by without someone asking me about the beer festival – so we can see it's definitely what the town wants.

"We'd also like to thank our local councillors for supporting us, allowing us to come back to the town hall and for letting us use their wonderful facility.

"It's certainly shaping up to be bigger and better than last time and we hope that everyone turns out to support it."

Organisers say this year's festival will be bigger and better, with nearly 70 barrels offering local beers and ciders hand-picked from local craft brewers and a selection of beers brought in from across the country.

The Ashbourne sub-branch is hoping to source local food to go on sale, as well as a line-up of musical entertainment.

The town hall has recently undergone a major revamp and the town council has supported the event by offering a discounted rate.

Deputy chairman of the town hall committee, Councillor Lucy Green, said: "We're really pleased to have the beer festival back at the town hall.

"Ashbourne used to have a thriving pub scene and we have some really interesting breweries on our doorstep, so we're in a perfect area for a beer festival.

"Anything that draws people in to the town and might encourage them to come back has got to be a good thing."

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