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Real Ale Festival September 10th and 11th 2011

(22/03/2011 @ 13:32:00)




The Beer Festival organised by the Somerset Branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) will take place for the 12th successive year on the platform of Minehead Railway Station.  The station is the northern terminus of the twenty mile long West Somerset Railway which runs from Bishops Lydeard (four miles from Taunton) and offers nostalgic steam train rides through the Quantock Hills and along the Exmoor Coast.

The opening hours are 11 to 11 on Saturday 10th and midday to 4 p.m. on Sunday 12th. In the decade and more that the Festival has been held at the station it has grown in popularity to the point where it is regarded as one of the main annual events in the calendar with many people visiting year after year.


The main emphasis of the Festival will be on beers brewed by the many award winning smaller breweries in Somerset but styles of traditional ales not brewed within the county will be sourced from further afield to give visitors a chance to try to the full variety of styles of traditionally brewed and served cask conditioned beer. Expect around 100 different brews to be on sale when the Festival opens. Visitors can also expect to be able to try some "Festival Specials”. Entry to the Festival is free but visitors will need to buy a Souvenir Festival Glass for £3 or a cheaper plastic alternative. No cash is taken at the bar. Tokens should be purchased at the same time as the glass. CAMRA will have a sales and recruitment stand there and Festival souvenir tee-shirts, polo shirts and sweat shirts will be on sale.


In addition to the beers there will be ciders, perries, some wine and soft drinks on sale. Food will be available from the Turntable café during the day and there will be a pasty van positioned by the station entrance. In the evening there is a Hog Roast organised by the Yarn Market Hotel from Dunster. There are plenty of other places to eat close to the station and of course plenty of accommodation in Minehead for those wishing to make a weekend of the event.


Entertainment on Saturday night will be by the remarkable one man show that is the Belfast Busker whilst the Tone Valley Jazz Band will play their regular Sunday afternoon gig at the Festival.


On the Saturday there are regular steam train services through the day with two round trips by a 1960’s diesel train in the evening to take visitors back along the line (the last leaves Minehead at 10.50 p.m. On the Sunday the first steam train leaves Bishops Lydeard at 10.25. There is a steam train from Minehead at 4.05 and a diesel train leaves the seaside town at 5.35 to complete the day.


In addition on the evening of Friday 9th a Cheese and Cider special train, which must be pre-booked, will operate.


Book online or contact 01643 704996.  


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