Y’see Colchester does enjoy a tipple, but in moderation, and preferably in a social setting. Which brings us to St-Mary-at-the-Wall (um, the ACE Arts Centre) and the Colchester CAMRA Winter Beer Festival taking place from the 23rd – 26th January.
Here is where you will find the real spirit [YEAH] of booze appreciation in Britain’s Oldest Recorded. It’s not a marathon, and it’s most certainly not a sprint either. It’s an incredibly social occasion where the odd half of bitter shandy helps to make new connections around the town.
This is the sixth Winter Ale Festival, to give the @ColCAMRA four-day celebration its proper title. Not content with a summer drinking session at the Arts Centre, the mid-winter real ale action is what we need right now to get us through impending days of Sunny Colch snow CHAOS.
But where to start?
Probably at the @ColCAMRA website for your runners and riders. Different folk approach beer festivals in different ways. Appreciation of ale by some needs a method, a scorecard and *possibly* a beard.
Each to their own.
The Chronic is simply happy to turn up on the Saturday afternoon, come up with some twaddle of a twitter hashtag (#ColchBeerFest?) and then see who else is around.
Yep, a *shhh* tweet up has been mentioned for the Saturday afternoon session at the Arts Centre. Which basically means that anyone who wants to share in some conversation about our town over a half pint of Mersea Island’s Yo Boy will be made to feel most welcome.
Elsewhere around the four days of booze appreciation and you will find over 100 real ales from the East Anglia region, plus cider and perry cider.
“You bloody fool! You should never mix your drinks!”
Plus there’s a Belgian Beer bar.
And good luck with that one, Comrades.
The volunteer run festival is also raising money for two very worthy hyperlocal causes – the Colchester SOS Bus and Colchester CVS. Both are also connected to the overall ethos Colchester CAMRA in enjoying alcohol in a safe and sensible environment.
Staging two beer festivals each year is not the only work that the wonderful volunteers of Colchester CAMRA carry out. CycAle rides are a regular date in the calendar, combining a love of both bicycles and booze.
Colchester pub-crawls also feature, as do well regular mini-bus runabouts to the more rural real ale pubs in the area. There are also campaigns, such as the current Save the Grennie, a much loved and historic landmark for Colchester drinkers.
The 6th Colchester Winter Ale Festival runs from 23rd – 26th January at the Colchester Arts Centre, from noon [blimey] until 11pm each day. Entry is FREE for CAMRA cold holders, as well as other folk before 3pm. £3 will be charged after this.
Britain’s Hardened drinking town?
You ever tried to neck a half pint of Yo Boy whilst bashing out a tweet?
See you on the Saturday afternoon, Comrades.