Hitchin Beer Festival 2017 – reflections on a successful festival

There is no doubt that the Hitchin Beer Festival, which took place in June was the most successful yet. A record of over 3,400 customers attended the festival (up from the previous record of 2,874 in 2016) – with some coming from as far afield as Sussex and Kent! More than 10,000 pints of beer were sold and we sold out of cider – twice! Bar sales were up on the Friday by 24% and on Saturday by 40%.

The annual event is organised by volunteers from North Herts CAMRA, Hitchin Round Table and Hitchin Rugby Club, and would not be possible without the support of these organisations and the event sponsors. The festival T-shirt was sponsored by four pubs the Half Moon, Highlander and Victoria in Hitchin, as well as the Red Lion at Preston. The token card was sponsored by the Half Moon. New River Brewery sponsored the glasses and the half-pint stem glasses proved particularly popular with customers. Our sponsorship team did a great job in getting cask sponsors, thanks to all the individuals and businesses who sponsored casks.

The catering this year was a collaboration with Hitchin Street food and the greater choice of food proved very popular with customers. Britannia’s Brew from Brewsters Brewery & Yeastie Boys was voted beer of the festival, and a visit to the brewery in Grantham took place on Saturday 14th of October (report coming soon). Special Branch from Apple Cottage was won the cider of the festival award. Citra Elderflower from Chorlton Brewing Company was voted favourite Key Keg and Boon Framboise from Brouwerij Boon was voted foreign beer of the festival. Thanks to everyone who submitted a vote and thanks also for your other festival feedback. We have basked in the compliments and taken note of the constructive criticism.

The festival would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the army of volunteers who make the festival the success that it is. This was the best festival yet and we have already fixed the date for the 2018 Hitchin Beer Festival. This will be 7-9 June back at Hitchin Rugby Club, save the date and we’ll see you there!

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Photos from https://www.facebook.com/hitchinbeerandciderfestival/

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