6th Annual Twickenham Beer Festival

From Thursday, 20th October to Saturday, 22nd October 2005 is the Seventh Annual Twickenham Beer and Cider Festival held at York House and is sponsered by CAMRA, The Campaign for Real Ale.

The festival is a great opportunity to try the best in British and European beer. There will be over 50 Real Ales, ciders and perries (cider made from pears). Bottles of British Real Ale will be also be available for the first time, as Nick Dolan from the East Twickenham based Real Ale Ltd. has a stand at the festival.

The hours of the Festival are as follows:

Thursday 20th October 5:00pm to 10:30pm
Friday 21st October 11:00am to 10:30pm
Saturday 22nd October 11:00am to 10:30pm

Last entrance is 30 minutes before the close of each session. The hall gets very busy between 7:30 to 9:30pm on both Thursday and Friday. However, according to CAMRA’s Brian Jobin, it is “unusual to have to wait more than 10 minutes” to get in, even at peak times.

The atmosphere is very casual. Jobin recommends that “people come with friends and spend a couple of hours talking and trying” different ales.

There is food from the Fox Pub on Chuch Street for all sessions and there is no music or smoking allowed.

History of CAMRA

CAMRA, was formed in 1971 by a small group of disaffected drinkers who realised that breweries were continually promoting and increasing the production of bland, pasteurised keg beers at the expense of traditional Real Ales, served by handpump. Thirty-three years later, CAMRA, with its 70,000 members, is often described as the most successful consumer pressure group in the world. Real Ale is again available in most pubs and there is a thriving market for the vast range of beers produced by breweries of all sizes.

The Richmond and Hounslow Branch of CAMRA was formed in 1974 is thriving due to a tremendous enthusiasm for Real Ale in this area. Then, as now, two famous local brewers, Fuller’s and Young’s owned many of the pubs in the area. The branch campaigned tirelessly to ensure that as many pubs as possible continued to serve Real Ale and, even in the darkest days of the late-seventies when pub after pub had become keg only, it was always possible to find local Real Ale on handpumps in the Richmond, Hounslow and Twickenham neighbourhoods.

Throughout the 1980’s, the tide slowly started to turn as more and more Real Ale re-appeared in pubs throughout this and other areas. All over England, small breweries started up from scratch and many of the larger brewers resumed the production of the Real Ales they had considered killing off only a decade before.

History of the Twickenham Festival

In the 1990’s the focus of the local campaign changed in order to reflect and promote the wider availability of Real Ales that could now be found. To help achieve this, the annual Twickenham Beer Festival was started at the Feltham Assembly Rooms in 1992. The Beer Festival was an instant success and has nearly always been a sell-out. By 1998, it was too big for Feltham so the festival was moved to York House. The CAMRA Twickenham Beer Festival at York House is now one of the most popular and eagerly awaited events on the local calendar.

Full details of the activities of The Richmond and Hounslow Branch of CAMRA are on our website at www.camra.org.uk/richmond.