This year's National Winter Ales Festival will be once again taking place at the Sheridan Suite, Oldham Road, Manchester, M40 8RR, from Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 January 2013. This is the last one to be held in Manchester because CAMRA, faced with an extremely successful festival, has decided to fix what isn't broken and move it to Derby next year. My own view is that they wouldn't move the GBBF outside London, so why shouldn't CAMRA's second national festival have a fixed home? Still, it's not up to me.
With a selection of over 300 beers, real ales in a bottle, ciders, perries and foreign beers from around the world, everyone should be able to find something they like: here is a link to the beer list. While there will, naturally, be a lot of winter ales on, beers of all types will be available, including golden beers for lovers of that style. The festival also hosts the Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition, the UK's premier winter ale competition. ‘Alfie’s Revenge’ by Driftwood Brewery of St Agnes, Cornwall, was last year's winner.
They'll be serving English and Indian food all day until 9.00 p.m., so there's no need to take a pile of butties. Full details of the festival are on their website, including entrance charges and concessions. CAMRA members get in free on Wednesday and Thursday, and £1 off the full price on Friday & Saturday. The venue is just over a mile from Piccadilly Station; click here for full directions.
I'm not sure when I'm going yet; with any luck I'll see you there.