14th Derby Winter Ale Festival 2018: In Review

Fortunately for Derby CAMRA the recent hysteria over a certain crossword puzzle didn’t dissuade people from attending this year’s Winter Ale Festival at the Roundhouse. Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer enjoyed the Saturday afternoon session in the role of ‘punters’ for a change, and Derby served as the ideal base from which to explore the Peak District; together they provided all the ingredients of a fun and relaxing weekend mini-break…

This was our first time at Derby CAMRA’s winter event; Mr Fueled by Beer previously volunteered at the summer festival in 2017, a very different and quite frankly not so enjoyable experience. However, as CAMRA festivals go, Derby’s winter event ticks all the right boxes:

  • Free ticket-less entry for CAMRA members;
  • Cashless bars serving ⅓ pint, ½ pint and 1 pint measures;
  • Beer tokens at reasonable prices;
  • LocAle brewery bars;
  • Superb beer selection covering all styles;
  • Foreign bar including beer from keg;
  • Cider, perry, wine and mead to satisfy all tastes;
  • Friendly people who as kids happily shared their toys;
  • Plenty of communal seating;
  • Decent music and food;
  • Roundhouse: a beautiful and unique historic venue.

While the future of the summer festival is currently in doubt due to venue issues, we understand the winter festival’s future is secure. We therefore look forward to attendance in the future – it is one of the best.


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