Our next Branch Meeting is scheduled for 4th November at the Steampacket, Swanwick. Because of developments with regard to a venue and date for us to run a Beer Festival next year, and the need to make decisions relating to it, there will be a Festival Meeting prior to the Branch Meeting.
Nigel Heathcote has been in touch with Belper Rugby Club to see if they are amenable to our holding our Festival there. As a result of this three members of our branch (Nigel, David Harper and Chris Rogers) held a meeting with representatives of the Rugby Club. The meeting went very well; clearly the Rugby Club would like us to go ahead and offered us a very reasonable deal. The dates when we would be open to the public would have to be 30th June to 2nd July; dates which we know are not convenient to some.
We now need the branch to decide whether to proceed (or not) with the festival. Assuming it goes ahead, there is an urgent need to submit a budget, since budget approval is necessary before any financial commitments can be made. Not unsurprisingly there are differences of opinion on what sort of a festival we should be running, and hence what should be in the budget. These matters need to be resolved, hence the scheduling of a Festival Meeting on November 4th.
This is important, not just for the future of our festival, but possibly for the future of our branch too. We therefore urge as many members as possible to attend, even if the proposed festival dates don’t suit you.
Possibilities for Amber Valley Beer Festival(s) in 2022
After two years without an Amber Valley Beer Festival due to covid we are now considering various options for 2022. Personally, as Branch Chairman, I think that it is important for the Branch to run at least one Festival per year. It gives the Branch cohesion and purpose, gives us a chance to recruit new members and, assuming it makes a surplus, to generates an income for the Branch.
Two possible options are currently being considered, one at South Normanton and one at the Rugby Club, Belper. Suggestions for other possible venues are welcome. This makes the Branch Meetings between now and Christmas very important. While preparatory work takes place outside these meetings, decisions on what is to go ahead, or not go ahead, will be taken at these meetings. The meeting dates and venues are Thursday September 30th, Old Kings Head, Belper, Thursday 2nd November, Steampacket, Swanwick and Thursday 2nd December, Hunters Inn, Kilburn.
In order to run a successful festival people are needed to take on at least the following roles :- Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Health & Safety, Publicity, Program, Sponsorship, Staffing, Beer Ordering, Site Management /Logistics and Entertainment. This list may seem daunting, but Amber Valley Branch have a lot of experience of running successful beer festivals and we already have people willing to take on some of these roles. However, more help is needed. There is, of course, no reason why one individual shouldn’t take on more than one role.
If you are interested in helping with the planning and organization of a beer festival, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Valley CAMRA Chairman
10th Amber Valley CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival 2019
Our festival programme is now available online using the link below. It includes full details of the entertainment lineup, tasting notes for all the beers, a list of the ciders, details of the gins and mixers and a pub map of the town centre real ale pubs in Belper.
Printed copies will be available free of charge from the glasses stand in room 19 during the event.
Please note that the beers are still subject to change as they won't be delivered until the morning of 24th September and we are entirely reliant on the breweries fulfilling our orders. Please keep your fingers crossed!
Please note we will be switching from tokens to cash for all purchases at the Festival.
We need volunteers to run this Festival, and hope that those of you who have worked here before, plus a few new faces, will volunteer to help. The staffing form is available here.
Staff perks will be on the same lines as last year. There will be free beer/cider tokens per hour worked, including set-up. Anyone working 6 consecutive hours or more on one day will be entitled to a meal token. A taxi service home will be provided for those who are required to work until closing time on Friday or Saturday and cannot get home by public transport. There will be a staff party in December with free food and some drinks provided the Festival is a financial success.
No festival can succeed without a dedicated band of volunteers to staff it. We hope to see you there.
9th Amber Valley CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival 2018
The 9th Amber Valley CAMRA festival will be held at Strutts on Derby Road, Belper from Thursday 27th September to Sunday 30th September 2018. The venue has its own car park, with the railway and bus stations only a short walk away. The festival will be held in the main hall and various “classrooms” of this former Grammar School with the bars in a marquee in an adjoining playground. There will be “quiet rooms” available at all sessions and local caterer, Farmhouse Kitchen, will provide a selection of hot and cold food from Thursday to Saturday.
The festival will launch on Thursday with a special preview session from 4-6pm with free entry to all including non-members. This will be followed at 7.30pm by a free-to-enter quiz with prizes, where table-service will be provided for participants. There will be live music in the main hall on Friday and Saturday nights.
Advance tickets can be purchased online for all sessions (except Sunday) also (details to be revealed shortly).
You can pay on the door but be sure to arrive early to ensure admission. Over 18’s only after 6pm.
The Sunday session 12-2pm is free entry with any remaining beers selling at £2 a pint.
There will be over 65 ales from around the country, including some one-off festival “specials”, a varied selection of ciders and perries and also country wines and soft drinks. The beer and cider list will be available to view on our website closer to the event.
2018 sees the centenary of the end of the First World War and we have adopted this as the theme for our festival this year. We are collaborating with the Belper in Wartime Group who will have a programme of events throughout the weekend, including an exhibition. There will also be various talks and performances during Friday and Saturday afternoons. Customers will be given the chance to record their memories of relatives’ lives in Belper from 1917-1922.
Our musical entertainment this year will be provided by Crossroads (classic rock and blues) on Friday night, supported by The Fab Two (Beatles tribute), and local rock covers band, Headshrinka headlining on Saturday night, supported by Acorn Roots (pop/folk/reggae/Celtic).
2018 Festival commemorative glasses in various styles will be on sale for £3 and hire glasses will be available on sale or return.
Amber Valley CAMRA look forward to welcoming visitors old and new and hope you have a great time with us at Strutts.
Amber Valley CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival 2017
The 8th Amber Valley CAMRA festival will be held at Strutts on Derby Road, Belper from Thursday 28th September to Sunday 1st October 2017.
The former Herbert Strutt Grammar School is situated on the A6 just outside the town centre and has its own car park, with the railway and bus stations only a short walk away and buses stopping right outside the venue. The festival is held in the main hall and various “classrooms” of this unique, atmospheric venue, with the bars being set up in a marquee in an adjoining playground. Several areas will be kept free for those who prefer to drink quietly, have a chat or to sample the great selection of hot and cold food that will be on offer from local caterer, Farmhouse Kitchen, during all sessions from Thursday to Saturday. Snacks and soft drinks will also be available with free soft drinks for designated drivers.
The festival will launch on Thursday with a special preview session from 4-6pm with free entry to all including non-members. This gives customers the opportunity to access the full range of beers, ciders and perries without the weekend crowds. This will be followed at 7.30pm by our popular, free-to- enter quiz with prizes, where table-service will be provided for participants.
There will be live music in the main hall on Friday and Saturday nights - for full details of all entertainment, opening times and prices, please check this site closer to the event.
2017 sees the bicentenary of the Pentrich Revolution. Pentrich and South Wingfield Revolution Group will be displaying artwork and historical pieces throughout the festival. The Group will be giving a talk on Saturday afternoon at 3pm with the opportunity to sample the revolution-themed beers brewed for the festival to commemorate the event. There will be a £3 entry fee for this talk and tasting session and spaces are limited so please pre-book at email@example.com or visit the membership desk on arrival.
Advance tickets are not required at any sessions but be sure to arrive early to ensure admission. Over 18’s only after 6pm. There is free wi-fi at the venue. Dogs are welcome but only allowed in certain areas.
There will be over 70 ales from around the country, showcasing a good mix of traditional styles along with some unusual and contemporary beers. The Cider Bar will be serving a varied selection of ciders and perries and also country wines and soft drinks. The beer and cider list will be available to view on our website closer to the event.
2017 Festival commemorative glasses in various styles will be on sale for £3 and hire glasses will be available on sale or return.
The Sunday session 12-2pm is free entry with any remaining beers at £2 a pint.
Amber Valley CAMRA look forward to welcoming visitors old and new and hope you have a great time with us at Strutts.
Amber Valley CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival 2016
Our 7th beer festival took place September 29th to Oct. 2nd at Strutt Community Centre in Belper. Opening on Thursday at 4pm with free entry until 6pm, the marquee contained 74 real ales plus 12 ciders, 3 perries, country and a variety of wines. Later that evening we held our first ever, prepared and presented by Pauline Finnie. Eleven teams competed to earn prizes of free beer or cider and the eventual winners were a trio from Arkwright Arms including landlady Emily. To allow contestants uninterrupted concentration, waiter service provided them with drinks from the marquee outside.
We are delighted to report that it was another very successful and enjoyable festival with record attendance on Saturday afternoon (516) breaking the 500 barrier for the 1st time in our 7 year history!!
We received very positive feedback about the venue, ambience, the beer list and our wonderful volunteers – people travelled from Rugby, Northampton, London, and even Scotland (Al, we salute you).
Saturday’s Meet The Brewer session featuring Landlocked’s Mike James was attended by 14 people who enjoying the story of a start-up micro-brewery and tasting the amazing results.
Friday night’s entertainment came from Wayward Brotherhood and The Cartoon Beatles – with much twisting and shouting by an enthusiastic crowd. Saturday’s popular acts were Midnight Pumpkin Trucks supported by Kick and Rush with attendees unperturbed by the torrential evening rain.
Hardly any ale or cider remained after Sunday lunchtime’s final drink-up session. The 1st beer to sell out (Friday) was Wild Beer’s Millionaire (chocolate in a barrel…) brewed in Somerset and the 2nd was Bridgehouse Tequila Blonde 3.8% pale brewed in West Yorkshire.
Many thanks to everyone who came along and supported the festival and especially to all the volunteers who gave their time and commitment to ensure the festival ran smoothly. We hope to see you all again next year – in 2017 the dates will be Thursday 28th September to Sunday 1st October. – put it in your diary.
If you would like to get involved in planning the 2017 event we welcome you to join us at our next meeting in January 2017. See the diary page for more information.
The 2015 event was covered by Belper News. Here's a link to their article http://www.belpernews.co.uk/news/local/beer-and-cider-lovers-enjoy-a-tipple-or-two-1-7484368
The 2014 event was an overwhelming success and Belper News also covered it. Here's a link to their article http://www.belpernews.co.uk/news/local/beer-lovers-pour-in-to-toast-camra-festival-1-6868599