16th Bexley Beer Festival - 2023

Having a Beer Festival when your new monarch is due to be crowned, meant we had the opportunity to order several (twenty, with eighteen turning up) beers related to the event. Again we had a good Thursday night, very good Friday and the numbers only spoilt by the downpour all day Saturday meaning the cricket match was cancelled. Although attendance was down on previous years everyone seemed to drink more.

Total attendance was 1362, with 529 CAMRA members, 808 non-members and 25 under the age of 26, the total down by 110 on the previous year.

Beer of the festival, by customer vote, was an outstanding victory for our own local Bexley Brewery with their 'Cherry Bakewell Stout 5.3%'; (number 9 in the programme), second place was a three way tie between Bexley Brewery 'Vanilla Porter 4.6% (number 7), Broken Drum Home Brew 'Quirm Brown Ale 3.8%' (number 18, a brand new beer that was very well received) and Ralph's Ruin 'A Walk On The Mild Side 3.5%' (number 69), brewed in the Royal Oak pub in Bath. The Cider/Perry was a win for Turners 'Apple Pie Cider 5.0% (letter R). Thank you to all who voted.

First to run out was Kent's 'King Charles III 4.3%' (number 53), followed by Bexley's 'Vanilla Porter' (number 7), then their 'Cherry Bakewell Stout' (number 9), with Canterbury Ales' 'King Ale 3.9' (number 21) a close fourth. The first cider to run out was the Turners 'Apple Pie' (luckily we had two).

Thank you to Dartfordians for all the help and assistance that they gave us, especially Megan and Brian (and get well soon Rocky), and Steve and company for the food.

Our Festival Charity Box saw over 1000 raised for Cancer Research, in memory of volunteer Paul Thomas who died very suddenly last year of stomach cancer. Thank you everyone for your kind donations.

Grateful thanks to all the ten Breweries who sponsored the t-shirts; Beerlefish, Broken Drum, Canterbury Ales, Gadd's, Goacher's, Kent, Koomor, Southwark, Tankley's and Wantsum and all their lovely beer (unfortunately Tankley's were unable to supply us will any; next year Glenn!), our glass sponsors Bexley and Westerham, and Shepherd Neame who kindly donated two casks. All the hard work from our main beer suppliers; Avalon, Beer Haul, Brentwood and Pigs Beer, and Fetch the Drinks for the Cider/Perry.

The location also saw Beer Festival Organiser Andy Wheeler hand over the Club of the Year award to Steward Megan Lewis (see photos on the 'Gallery' page).

Without all the CAMRA volunteers far and wide who helped set up, take down and work during the opening hours, this Festival would not take place, thank you everyone. Special mention to Alan Bartlett for all his work sorting out the staffing before the Festival, Joe Mist for the cooling and Andy Wheeler the organiser who worked tirelessly to ensure that it was a success. And thanks for all the bread.

Peter Trout, Beer Festival Co-Organiser

And, thanks of course, to Peter for the beer selection (without which, the festival would not be a success!).
Please come again next year.

Alan, Beer Festival Staff Manager

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