ALE No. 310: 30th Cambridge Beer Festival Programme : Buying Your Beer

ALE No. 310: 30th Cambridge Beer Festival Programme

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Buying Your Beer - A Short Guide

Whether this is your first beer festival or you're an old hand, here's a few tips to help you and our volunteer staff have an enjoyable time.

How does your pint measure up?


First, you'll need a glass. So if you haven't brought your own, you'll need to get one from the glasses stall. A souvenir glass, available as either a half pint or a pint, is returnable if you don't want to keep it. Note that the glasses are oversized and lined at the half and pint measure. This is to ensure that you get a 10 or 20 fluid ounces of liquid (a full half/pint), rather than the 95% which the Government thinks is OK.


Beers are arranged on the bars in alphabetical order by brewery. Staff may only serve beers from the bar at which they are working, so please check carefully before ordering. The beers listed in this programme are those that have been ordered. We cannot guarantee that they will all be available at any given time, so please refer to the signs on the cask ends to see exactly what's on. Note that ciders, perries and foreign beers are separate from the main bars.


The festival is organised and run entirely by volunteers, real ale enthusiasts who are doing this because it's fun. Do feel free to ask bar staff about the beer, because they are extremely knowledgeable - especially as the week goes on! You can even ask for a taste if you're not sure. Please note that buying drinks for staff is not compulsory, but is very much appreciated!

Bar etiquette

When you're at the bar, particularly when we're very busy, please note the following to ensure that we can serve you - and everyone else - as efficiently as possible. First, try to make your selection before ordering, and go as closely as you can to the right place on the right bar. When you have been served, please have your money ready, and then move away from the bar as quickly as possible to let other people have a go.

Please be patient: we're only human. Staff try to serve everybody in turn, but when we're very busy it can be difficult to keep track. Note that drawing attention to yourself by banging glasses, money etc. on the bar tends to be counterproductive.

And finally, please don't ask if we've got "anything like Stella". A funny look often offends.

Have a nice festival!

ALE No. 310: 30th Cambridge Beer Festival
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