E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: UK: National Winter Ales Festival ready to welcome thousands

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E-Malt.com News article: UK: National Winter Ales Festival ready to welcome thousands
Brewery news

The National Winter Ales Festival 2006 from January 18th to 21st will be bigger and better than ever, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said on December 22.

Due to the high attendance at last year’s National Winter Ale Festival (NWAF) the four-day event will now be spread over two floors of Manchester’s New Century Hall. CAMRA expects over 7,000 visitors to come and enjoy distinctive stouts, porters, old ales, strong milds, bitters and barley wines – in addition to live entertainment.

CAMRA Regional Director for Greater Manchester, Steve Prescott, said: “Last year we booked one floor of the New Century Hall and we were bursting. More than 6,400 people attended over the course of the festival and at peak times we were only admitting people on a one in-one out basis.

“This year we have got two floors, and with the Manchester Evening News as main sponsor there is a real buzz building up.”


Now in its 10th year, NWAF began because brewers of old ales, stouts and porters could not enter the Champion Beer of Britain Competition – held in August when most winter ales are not available. Since then NWAF has become a staple in the beer drinkers calendar, attracting thousands of visitors.

Visitors to New Century Hall will be able to choose from more than 200 ales, foreign beers, traditional ciders and perries.

The beer judged to be the best at the festival will be awarded the title of Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2006. The announcement will be made on Thursday January 19th at around 3pm.

In 2005 the award was given to Robinson's brewery in Stockport for its 8.5% AVB barley wine, Old Tom.


CAMRA members will be circulating the hall on Saturday January 21st, offering blind tastings to those who may be hesitant to try the flavoursome darker beers. CAMRA hopes that NWAF heralds the beginning of a renaissance to bring these sometimes overlooked beer styles of stout, porter and old ale back to the forefront where they belong.

In addition CAMRA has produced 15,000 pump clip crowners, 25,000 beer mats and 15,000 posters which will be sent out for pubs to promote the event.

Reporters and Media who wish to participate in any tastings or conduct in-depth interviews with CAMRA staff or brewers are invited to the Trade and Media Day which will be held on Thursday between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. To make arrangements please contact CAMRA press officer Owen Morris on 01727 98443, mobile 07939 425471.


Thirty-six breweries will be in attendance at the festival over the four days. These are: Abbeydale, Adnams, Bank Top, Bath Ales, Battersea, Bazens, Belhaven, Beowulf, Breconshire, Buffy’s, Bulmastif, Dark Star, E & S, Edinburgh Brewing Co, Exmoor, Gales, Goffs, Harvey’s Hog’s Back, Isle of Skye, Kelburn, Orkney, Otley, Robinsons, Rother Valley, Rudgate, Sarah Hughes, Theakston’s, Thornbridge Hall, Tower, Tripple FFF, Woodfordes, Wye Valley, Young’s.

23 December, 2005

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