National Winter Ales Festival - Manchester

Arrived at the festival at 5.30 PM on Saturday to find that the vast majority of the beers were sold out.
After visiting both floors I would say that only 20 or so beers remained, most of which were very ordinary. The place was heaving but most people seemed to be standing around with empty glasses.
A friend who attended on Friday evening has told me that a significant number of ales were already sold out then.
Unfortunately this seems to be a regular feature since the event moved back to Manchester a few years ago.
Over the years I've attended many festivals up and down the country and still had a reasonable choice of ale on the final evening.
This strikes me as pretty poor for an official CAMRA event.
By the way, no mention was made of the lack of beer when I paid my entrance charge.
Reply to
We arrived at around 2pm that day, and found the same. We knew if would be likely that many of the beers would be gone but we still chose to go.
My problem was that I can't really drink anything over 4% and mostly all that was left were the heavies. For me, 2 milds and about 3 boring bitters. I enjoyed what I had though, including Batemans 3%. The atmosphere was good and it was nice to meet up with others.
It is always difficult to judge how much beer is going to sell and the last thing anyone would want is loads to throw away the next day and a big loss of money.
At least in Manchester there are several really good pubs within easy walking distance, and after an hour or so, we visited three of them.
No, I thought that, but we only paid £2 to get in, so thought that was fair enough.
I understand your disappointment, though.
Reply to
Chris de Cordova

How long does the stuff keep in the barrels?
Is there any reason why at the end of the festival, any remaining barrels couldn't be sold to a local pub?
Reply to
Manky Badger
It's an age old problem. You're damned if you run out of beer and damned if you end up pouring loads down the drain. But surely, to the branch, as long as you've covered your costs and show a positive bottom line, that has to be the best option. The alternative is that you get disgruntled people who resolve never to go to that particular festival again and complain on forums like this. Bad news has a habit of spreading fast.
Was the Winter Beer Fest a pre-sold ticketed event? I'd have thought that this, at least, would provide a guide as to how many pints you're likely to sell, based on an 'average' person drinking maybe 4-5 pints. This of course assumes that all beers will go at the same rate (which is never true), but past experience will always give an indication of the types of beest likely to be the most popular.
If a branch errs on the side of over provision and ends up with too much beer, what about a cheap drinking up session with beers at £1 a pint and on the strict understanding that choice may be severely restricted?
Reply to
M Platting
Manky Badger a écrit :
Legal or not, it'd be questionable from a cellarmanship point of view.
Cask ale has dregs in it at the bottom. Moving the casks means they'd need another three days to settle again. Add to this the air in braoched casks, meaning the beer also gets oxygenated during transit, there's a good chance that a broched cask that's moved and then re-stillaged until it's clear again, even if rather strong stuff, will have lost most of its condition (i.e. be completely flat and be oxidised, tasting of wet cardboard and/or vinegar.
Granted, the beer could also be racked into clean containers, but then shelf life would be extremely short.
Reply to
The Submarine Captain
My own view is that organizers should price admission according to availability and that advertising should warn of limited choice on the last day. The last day, particularly evening sessions should be cheaper.
It wasn't pre-sold. My understanding is that there was a 35 kil reserve which more or less all got supped. It isn't a bad reserve that.
Not practical. It would mean delay in taking down, extra venue hire and pissed off volunteers.
Reply to
Peter Alexander

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