Beer festival runs out of beer

Oops. The Stratford Real Ale Festival (Stratford-upon-Avon, the Shakespeare place) was supposed to run three days.

But they ran out of beer on the second day.

Organiser Bob Mansfield told the Herald: “We ran out of food at 8.30pm and went dry at 9.30pm. We could not bring in extra supplies from the breweries because real ale has to be left standing for 24 hours. So, sadly, we had to shut the door.”

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3 Replies to “Beer festival runs out of beer”

  1. That’s a little…odd.

    First, they should have been taking dips during the festival — or at least at the end of the first evening — to see how much they had left. They should have noticed a shortage after day 1 and acted in anticipation.

    Secondly, while you should allow 24-48 hours for real ales to settle, there are several that drop overnight, or even quicker. SA Brain’s beers are ready to serve in an hour or two. An experienced bar manager will either know what will or will know to ask someone who does know.

    Third, a lot of breweries, especially for festivals, will do rack-bright beer which comes from the brewery with the yeast already dropped out. Those, you just throw them on the stillage, tap, vent, and go.

  2. In reply to Edward – this was our first CAMRA branch beer festival, hence we had no previous knowledge of attendance patterns. The attendance numbers on Friday evening (first session) were within a few % of budget – hence no warning of problems. However Saturday afternoon attendance was several 100% per cent above budget – conclusion – not everyone stays at home to watch the FA Cup Final! We look forward to running out a little later next year!

  3. It is very difficult to precalculate demand at a beer festival, so I find the best way is to get as much sale or return beer as possible as reserve, especially those that do drop bright quickly (the brewery will advise on this).
    You can just about expect a full house up to fire -limits every session too.

    CAMRA ber festivals should serve real beer not rack-bright beer as suggested.

    Steve Downing, Liverpool beer fest organiser

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