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.
The 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!
North 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.
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…