We wish you a warm welcome to Wigan, our 26th Beer Festival, which for the fourth year is part of Wigan Food and Drink Festival. The festival is organised by the Wigan branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) and we trust you will enjoy our fine selection of beers and ciders.
Wigan CAMRA is an active branch which includes almost 500 members many of whom are active in attending meetings and social events, working on beer festivals as volunteers throughout the country, keeping tabs on more than 100 pubs in our area that serve real ale, and assessing them for inclusion in the annual Good Beer Guide.
We hope you will take the opportunity to join our growing numbers, 147,000 last count and growing, so what better place to join that at our festival itself! It’s well worth it!
We are rather proud of our area, and the pride is shown by the fact we have two award winning breweries in our branch, with both Allgates and Prospect regularly picking up Regional awards and enjoying a growing reputation for the quality of their range of beers. We also have a several microbreweries including Wellcross who have started brewing this year and we are hoping that Problem Child will soon be up and running at The Wayfarer in Parbold.
The Food and Drink Festival runs from Thursday 28th until Sunday March 10th inclusive and there are events every day, including at two of our Good Beers Guide pubs, The Wayfarer at Parbold, and The Crown at Worthington.
There is also a Brewery Tour at Allgates Brewery in the Town Centre, and Beer and Pie and Pint tasting at the newly reopened Raven in Wallgate. See the Food and Drink Festival programmes on our information stall for further details of all these and other events.
During the festival, you will have the opportunity to try a variety of drinks.
For those of you new to the festival, you will find a wide variety of “real ales” or as they are more commonly known “cask” beers, on sale. Cask beers are pure fresh products with the yeast still alive unlike the fizzy keg beers offered at many pubs.
In the second half of the last century, big breweries preferred the latter method as it was more convenient and profitable. It was CAMRA being formed that stopped this “rot” and the trend has now reversed with growth in the sale of cask ale growing whilst the sales of keg beer are declining rapidly! It’s a bit like the difference between drinking a glass of fresh milk or some long life pasteurized stuff that has been sat on a supermarket shelf for 6 months; no contest!
At the festival you will also have the chance to try some real cider or perry with the return of our experts who will gladly advise you on cider, perry and fruit wine, or if that is not to your taste, there’s always our Foreign Beer Bar!
Whatever your tipple, please drink responsibly!
Please do not buy a pint of a drink just because the name sounds good; please ask our bar volunteers for advice if you aren’t sure, if you particularly fall in love with beer you can always buy a second half!
Feeling peckish? We have a welcome return for our Continental Sausage stall which complements more staple English fodder next door. New for this year, is Merry Berry Truffles, a range of handmade chocolate products perfect for matching with beer, but beware of the Scorpion Death Chilli Chocolate, not for the faint hearted. I would advise a glass full of beer ready to douse a fiery tongue!
Remember this festival is run by a band of unpaid volunteers who have helped to make this festival happen and we thank them all for their sterling efforts.
Finally we thank all of our sponsors particularly our Principal Sponsors Poole’s Pies, The Anvil Pub, and Gallimore’s Fine Restaurant . Without the Sponsors support and the numerous hours worked by our volunteers during setup, opening hours and take down we could not run a festival of this size!
We hope that you will remember them as you enjoy our festival!