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Gloucester beer, real ale, cheese and cider festivals coming to Blackfriars

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 25, 2014

Gloucester CAMRA’s first Beer and Cider Festival at Blackfriars Priory last year

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It’s about to play host to its second annual Campaign for Real Ale beer festival – and this year Blackfriars will also get its very own cider festival as well.

The beer festival kicks off on April 4, with a warm-up for the Witcombe Cider Festival taking place at the same venue two weeks later.

At the first Camra event, more than 100 real ales will be on sale, along with a range of ciders, perries and artisan cheeses.

Live music and entertainment is being laid on throughout the weekend.

Tickets are available on the door for £5 and include a free glass. Visit gloucesterbeerfestival.org.uk for more.

Neil Richardson from the May Hill Brewery said: “After running out of beer three times last year, the quota has been upped to 100 beers – being served from two bars – with plenty in reserve should the good people of Gloucester be as thirsty as they were last year.”

Tickets have also gone on sale for the Witcombe Cider Festival, also at Blackfriars on Saturday, April 19.

Witcombe Cider Festival proper is taking place on the weekend of August 24-25.

Festival organiser Joe Pointon hopes the Blackfriars event could lead to a regular event at the venue.

“This is an exciting new event and we are confident of it being a success and then possibly becoming a monthly event,” he said.

“There will be lots of new ciders to try and we will be showing off some of the best local produce in Gloucestershire. Cider and real ale is definitely getting more popular. People are coming off continental lagers and trying different ciders and perry.

“There will be something for everyone with a battle of the bands for the chance to play at our main summer festival over the August bank holiday in Brockworth.”

There will be seven bands playing for a cash prize of £250. They include reggae outfit the King Solomon Band, folk artists Solid Gone and electronic band The Last Knights.

Jared Brown, owner of Gloucester Brewery, said: “The popularity of real ale is certainly on the rise and this festival will help show off the variety of ales now available. Just a couple of years ago, the market was dominated by best bitters and IPA beers. Now there are fruit beers, sour beers and ales made from wild yeast. There is something for everyone. The live music at this event will hopefully help attract a new crowd to the festival.”

For both events numbers are restricted to 300, with tickets costing £10 in advance. Visit witcombeciderfestival.co.uk.

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