The Booze on the Ouse beer festival opens at the Priory Centre in St Neots on Thursday (March 14).
Organisers are the Huntingdonshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and have announced nominations for their annual Pub of the Year awards and will announce the winning licensees at the festival at 4pm on Thursday. The festival will also host a category competition in the 2020 Champion Beer of East Anglia Awards, with the winning beer being announced on Friday. The pub awards will include the branch’s overall Pub of the Year, to be selected from the winners of two of the categories: Rural Pub of the Year and Urban Pub of the Year.
Last year’s Huntingdonshire Pub of the Year, the Chequers at Little Gransden, eventually won through to the final four of CAMRA’s national Pub of the Year awards, in which it was narrowly pipped by the Wonston Arms, in the Hampshire village of Wonston, announced as overall national winner last month.
The Huntingdonshire nominations to be announced this week are as follows:
Rural Pub of the Year
Chequers, Little Gransden; Green Man, Leighton Bromswold, Pheasant, Keyston.
Urban Pub of the Year
Ale Taster, St Neots; Old Bridge Hotel, Huntingdon; Oliver Cromwell, St Ives; Pig ‘n’ Falcon, St Neots; Royal Oak, St Ives.
Community Pub of the Year
Cambridgeshire Hunter, Eynesbury, St Neots; Haywain, St Ives; King of the Belgians, Hartford.
Cider and Perry Pub of the Year
King of the Belgians, Hartford; Ale Taster, St Neots; Pig ‘n’ Falcon, St Neots.
CAMRA spokesman Paul Moorhouse said: “CAMRA gives these annual awards to draw attention to pubs that operate in ways that CAMRA would wish to encourage - such as providing well-presented ranges of real ales of varied styles, high quality draught ciders and perries, premises with atmosphere and style, good service and welcome, a good community focus and good value.”
The Booze on the Ouse festival will be open from 11am to 10:30 pm on Thursday and Friday and 11am till 10pm on Saturday.
There will be a range of 66 real ales, six craft beers and 16 real draught ciders and perries which can be tasted over the course of the event, including CAMRA’s current Champion Winter Beer of Britain, announced last month, Lacons Audit Ale from Great Yarmouth, amongst around 20 cask beers from featured area Norfolk and Suffolk. The overall range will include draught milds, bitters, golden ales, stouts, porters, lagers, wheat beers and speciality beers with added ingredients such as raspberries and plums. There will also be a great range of real draught ciders and perries from producers in East Anglia, the West Country and Surrey.
Cambridgeshire’s ever-increasing numbers of breweries will be well represented, including Angles Ales, Lord Conrads, Milton, Rocket, Oakham, Papworth Brewery, Son of Sid, Three Blind Mice and Turpins. Huntingdonshire CAMRA’s volunteer publicity officer, Paul Moorhouse, said ‘Festival-goers can expect a great range of beers, served in prime condition – a balanced range of real ale styles with a big emphasis on local brewers as usual’.
Wines, soft drinks and food will be available. Commemorative glasses will include a legal measure of one third of a pint. CAMRA is campaigning for more pubs to use these smaller legal measures.
The festival is supporting the Wildlife Trust BCN (www.wildlifebcn.org) via their Hunts local group and will feature displays, pub games and other fundraising activities manned by Wildlife Trust volunteers. To find out more about the Trust please visit www.wildlifebcn.org
To find out more about the Hunts local group please visit www.wildlifebcn.org/huntingdonshire-local-group or contact George Cottam on 01480 450809
Admission to the Booze on the Ouse festival is £3 (£4 on Friday after 6pm) or £1 at all times for CAMRA members.