It’s 2019 which means it’s time to plan your visit to one of the best beer festivals in the country.

Returning to the historic Roundhouse this February is the 15th Derby CAMRA Winter Ale Festival and this year it will be an unmissable experience. Featuring over 400 cask ales, ciders, perries, bottled world beers and meads, we have among the best selections in the region and something for everyone. But that’s not all – you spoke and we listened, which means there are new additions coming this year:

• Our new craft keg bar features a range of quality craft beers you will love to try!
• Blue Monkey are in town and they’re bringing gin!
• Our range of live music is better than ever!

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Keep an eye on the Derby CAMRA Festival Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. There will also be opportunities for you to win free entry to the festival. Want a sneak preview? Tune in to our Facebook Live Preview Event on Tuesday 19th February!

Our Young Members Rep, Heather Knibbs, along with Natalie Bullin from Nottingham CAMRA, are organising a Young Members social event at the festival. Remember, the festival cannot run without our fantastic team of volunteers and the cellar team especially could do with some extra hands this year. If you could spare a few hours of your time, particularly on Friday or Saturday night, please sign up to volunteer.

What Makes A Great Beer Festival?

The first and most obvious answer to this is, of course, great beer. Another requirement is a great venue and a lively festival atmosphere. Then you need lots of customers to sample and enjoy the beer, cider, food and entertainment on offer.

Here in Derby we are lucky enough to have the historic Roundhouse building to put on our Winter Ale Festival. Derby CAMRA also has over 40 years experience of putting on beer festivals and the expertise to keep the beer in tip-top condition.

To a large extent it is an ‘if you build it they will come’ situation. A lot of planning goes into estimating the number of customers who will come through the door, how many pints they will drink and all the other things needed to keep them both happy and safe. A lot is learned from previous festivals and small changes are made each time to make improvements where needed. Then we cross our fingers and hope for good weather and that the trains and buses keep running on time.

You may be surprised to learn that this is all done by unpaid volunteers who willingly give up their time just because they love the beer festival. Planning starts in September to get together a team who will organise the finances, purchase beer, cider and mead, recruit volunteers to serve it and make sure it is in prime condition, deal with publicity, entertainment, health and safety and much, much more. What you see when the festival is open is only the tip of the iceberg.

BEER BARRELS

Setting up the festival takes place in a very short space of time as it can only be done while the college students are on half term. There is a meagre five and a half days to build the stillage for the casks, fit the cooling equipment, receive the beer from the suppliers and get it in the right place, and the 101 other jobs that need to be done before the festival can open. Taking it all down has to be done on the day after closing, which is a major achievement and needs a lot of helpers.

Perhaps the single most important aspect of a successful festival is the people who take part. There is a varied mix. From the beer tickers, who arrive early to sample the new and unusual, to the young people filling the music marquee on a Friday evening. And, of course, the volunteers who take your money on the door, serve your beer, wash the glasses and so on.

I may well be biased but I think that we have some very special volunteers in Derby, and the surrounding regions, who give up their time for little more than a free t-shirt and some subsistence refreshments.

Although we ask them to work hard at times they seem to enjoy it and most come back year after year.

Young Volunteers

And there are so many benefits for young volunteers too! Take it from someone who volunteered for her first festival at 19 years of age. Signing up for Derby CAMRA Winter Ale Festival is a great opportunity.

Experience is gold dust for any CV and our festival is an excellent environment to develop your existing skills as well as gain new ones. If you’re looking to work in a customer-facing role then working behind one of our bars or on our membership stall will provide you with thousands of customers and a supportive team to help you. Going into HR? Why not try a shift on our volunteers desk and help coordinate the hundreds of volunteers that keep our festival running? Aspiring to move up to management?

We’ll be running bar management training at this year’s festival, led by our very popular and experienced bar management team. If you’re looking to work in the events trade then our set-up and take-down sessions are a chance to experience the manual and logistics side of running a great festival.

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Or maybe you’re considering entering the brewing industry itself? Perfect! We’re looking to recruit new members to our cellar team, where you can gain valuable training and experience in the transportation, storage and maintenance of cask and keg beer.

Many of our experienced volunteers are also brewers themselves who can tell you more about the process. Whichever role you take on at Derby Winter Ale Festival 2019, you will be working with a fantastic team of volunteers. We’re all very passionate about what we do and our festival is one of the most popular in the country. If this is your first festival with us you can add valuable new skills to your CV.

If you have volunteered with us before and are returning again, why not have a chat your bar manager or one of the festival management team about possibly providing you with a reference? We appreciate the hard work of all our volunteers and love to see that effort pay off in our working lives too.

If you would like to join the team of volunteers in 2019 please check out:
www.derbycamra.org.uk/winter-beer-festival
for a volunteer form or email:
wintervolunteers@derbycamra.org.uk

GENERAL INFORMATION

PRICES & TIMES

WEDNESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY (5PM – 11PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £3.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: £3.00
AGED 18-25: £1.50

THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY (12PM – 5:30PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £2.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: FREE
AGED 18-25: £1.00

THURSDAY 21ST FEBRUARY (5:30PM – 11PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £5.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: £5.00
AGED 18-25: £2.50

FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY (12PM – 5:30PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £3.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: FREE
AGED 18-25: £1.50

FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY (5:30PM – 11PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £6.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: £6.00
AGED 18-25: £3.00

SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY (12PM – 5:30PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £3.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: FREE
AGED 18-25: £1.50

SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY (5:30PM – 11PM)

GENERAL ADMISSION: £6.00
CAMRA MEMBERS: FREE
AGED 60+: £6.00
AGED 18-25: £3.00