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Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival by numbers – and winners!

Bill gets the last dribble of the Comrade Bill...We’re still recovering from Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival… we’ll digest the experience and publish a full festival report in the near future. For now however, here are the essentials…

First – the news everyone waits for after a beer festival: who are the winners?!

Hitchin 2013 Beer of the Festival:
Bartrams, Comrade Bill Bartrams Egalitarian Anti Imperialist Soviet Stout

The name is quite a mouthful, and also the beer – a luscious 6.9% imperial stout. In such fine form was this beer at our festival that it has won the prize by a clear margin despite being the first beer to run out – before the half-way mark as well! This is an impressive feat in a competition that lends an advantage to those beers that last a while longer.

Hitchin Hedgehog pump clip artThe runner-up BotF was our local Buntingford Brewery’s festival special: Hitchin Hedgehog. This beer was produced by our North Hertfordshire brewery to the specifications of our hosts, the Hitchin Rugby Football Club. Colour to match the club’s maroon, yet a surprising lighter crisper than expected flavour. Keep an eye out for more of this special beer in all the good pubs that stock Buntingford ales.

Hitchin 2013 Cider of the Festival:
Apple Cottage’s new Ginger Whinger

This 6.7% cider from our most local cider producer came with more than just a hint of ginger, and people kept coming back for more.

The runner-up CotF was Wiscombe’s Suicider – an 8% beast of a drink!

Orange Tree PotY PresentationNorth Hertfordshire Pub of the Year:
The Orange Tree, Baldock

The Friday evening presentation of the North Herts PotY certificate and trophy to Rob Scahill of the Orange Tree in Baldock cannot go without mention. Congratulations to Rob and his staff at the pub, a very well earned award – the Orange Tree won our “Most Improved Pub” award last year and has maintained the high standards required to win our top prize. The PotY is selected by all CAMRA members who score beers in our branch area, the top 5 pubs with the highest beer scores were shortlisted and members asked to complete a final survey to pick the ultimate winner. Find the latest edition of Pints of View in your local pub for a write-up of the Orange Tree’s achievement.

Friday Night Festival CrowdFestival By Numbers

We counted 2119 drinkers coming through the festival door – a few less than the 2278 we had in the town hall last year. However, our festival goers managed to put away over 7500 pints of ale and over 1100 pints of cider & perry. That’s 1800 more pints than Hitchin 2012! Less people: nearly a whole extra pint per visitor… I think we can thank the weather & pleasant locale for that. :) Our cider count was about the same as 2012 – we nearly ran out of cider twice but kept going thanks to an extra delivery from Apple Cottage and an emergency re-stock from the Half Moon’s cellar. We did finally have to close the cider bar at 5PM on Saturday, if we’d have managed to get more cider we’d have smashed our previous cider records. Lesson for next year: buy more cider!

What else did we have? A much expanded food selection, with five different food providers. Sun & warm weather, green grass, and outdoor seating! It was an excellent weekend…

Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival is … over… :(

An excellent festival, with a lot of excellent feedback. Right now we’re all utterly exhausted though… and still have a tent full of gear to pack away. It couldn’t be done without excellent volunteers from the three organisations involved: the beer festival is 100% volunteer organised & run! (Volunteers are actually “compensated” – in beer!)[…Read on]

Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival starts TOMORROW!

The beer is sitting there chillin’ away in fancy CAMRA cooling jackets now, awaiting our first customers at 5pm tomorrow – Thursday June 6th.

As an intro here is[…Read on]

Hitchin beer festival is THIS WEEK!

Beer Duty Escalator Scrapped!

Hooray! We all won! It is great news that the beer duty escallator has been scrapped – this means less financial pressure on pubs and beer consumers. Read the full CAMRA HQ press release here:

However, let us be realistic – don’t expect your local pub to be reducing their £3.50 pint to £3.49. Even[…Read on]

2013 Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival – Dates & Venue


Brilliant news: THERE WILL BE ONE! CAMRA North Herts and the Hitchin Round Table are pleased to announce that the annual Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival will be held again this year and with a new partner: Hitchin Rugby Football Club (HRFC). The festival will be taking place this year at the later-than-usual dates of Thursday 6th, [...Read on]

Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 2013

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival is fast approaching on the 11th-13th January – and the North Herts Branch annual social to this great event would be the held on the 12th (Saturday).

Stop Press…

Update for the annual Branch trip to the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 2013 and then GBG pubs in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

This[…Read on]

Save Your Pint – Mass Parliamentary Lobby Day! 12-12-12

Save Your Pint - Mass Lobby Day 121212

Join us on the 12th December to lobby your MP and stop spiralling beer tax. Save your pint – stop the beer duty escalator! What: 100,000 signatures on the e-petition and a three-hour debate in Parliament, the mass lobby is now more important than ever to ensure Government stick to their commitments and review the damaging [...Read on]

Call for Community Pub of the Year 2013 Nominations

Community Pubs

Know of a pub that supports their local community? Let us know As part of Community Pubs Month April 2013 we are seeking nominations for the 2013 North Herts. Community Pub of the year. These are pubs that support their local community through hosting sports clubs, supporting local charities, organising community events or just for being [...Read on]

Festival Worker’s Party Trip to “XT”

XT Brewing Company's bright delivery van.

XT Brewing Company’s bright delivery van. The reward for our hard working Letchworth Beer Festival volunteers this year was a branch–sponsored trip to a new but extremely interesting brewery — XT. Twenty–two merry souls set off by coach on October 20 to the darkest remotest part of the vale of Aylesbury. Located on a [...Read on]


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Branch Diary

July  2015
  • Buntingford Social

    Starts: 12:00 am

    Ends: 12:00 am, 2nd July, 2015

    Location: Buntingford

    Description: Visiting The Brambles, Fox & Duck, Black Bull, Wine Bar, Jolly Sailors & Crown

  • Redemption Brewery Trip

    Starts: 12:00 am

    Ends: 12:00 am, 9th July, 2015

    Location: Redemption Brewery, Tottenham

    Description: Meeting at 11:30 at the Brewery, limit to 12 - 15 people so please let Brian know!

  • Royston Social

    Starts: 12:00 am

    Ends: 12:00 am, 16th July, 2015

    Location: Royston

    Description: Checking in at The Therfield Sports Club, Coach & Horses, Old Crown & Manor House

  • Mini Bus Trip - Campaigning Trail

    Starts: 12:00 am

    Ends: 12:00 am, 19th July, 2015

    Location: Rushden, Ashwell and Hinxworth

    Description: Moon & Stars, Rushden,
    Three Tuns, Bushel & Strike, Rose & Crown, Ashwell;
    and The Three Horseshoes , Hinxworth.

  • Branch Meeting

    Starts: 8:00 pm

    Ends: 9:30 pm, 20th July, 2015

    Location: TBD

    Description: Branch open meeting - all members welcome!

  • Stevanage Old Town Social

    Starts: 12:00 am

    Ends: 12:00 am, 1st August, 2015

    Location: Stevanage Old Town

    Description: Paying a visit to The Mallard, Drapers Arms, Red Lion, Old Post Office