This year we are letting you sample 173 beers from 111 British Breweries - over 68,000 pints in total. We also have our Foreign Beer Bar (with over 60 different bottled beers and 30 draught beers), the Cider Bar and our British Wine Bar all offering you a wide selection of beverages. We have changed around 70% of the beers this year although only 30% of the breweries have changed; there is a larger selection on our unique Cambridgeshire Bar with 34 beers on sale from our eight breweries. On our East Anglia bar we have 46 beers from 32 breweries. Between these two bars more than half of the East Anglia breweries are represented.
For those of you who have not visited the Cambridge Beer Festival before the first question is why not? It's the 33rd year of the festival this year, although, as it has grown, we have had to keep moving venue.
What do we offer you might ask? Well for a start we do not sell keg or pasteurised beer - just the best of British traditional cask ale i.e. beer which undergoes secondary fermentation in the cask, meaning it's a live product. We also offer a full range of different styles of beer produced by our brewers, some of which you may think are only brewed on the Continent. We also give you a music-free environment.
What about the kids? Bring them along, provided you are prepared to look after them! We have a separate children's enclosure with some toys for toddlers and children are allowed anywhere in the public areas except the bar area. We also lay on entertainment for them on Saturday. But please remember the beer festival is held under canvas.
What will it cost you? If you are a CAMRA member you get free entry; if not you'll have to pay a £2.50 entrance fee and then buy a glass to enable you to purchase beer - but the latter is refundable if you do not wish to keep the glass. You will then pay pub prices for the beer. We will have beers ranging from 3% ABV to 8.5% ABV but would advise you to start with the lower gravity beers and build up to the higher strength - this way you will taste each beer sampled.
Oh, and if you like the idea of the above, why not come and give us a helping hand for a few hours? You will be made most welcome. Please see the staffing form on the Festival Web site. There are a few perks which we will tell you about when you turn up to work.
The Festival happens from 22-27 May on Jesus Green, Cambridge. Look out for our posters in your local pub and in the local papers. If you've never been before, why not give us a try? You may be bitten and return in 2007.