National Winter Ales Festival - Derby 2014

Following on from successfully supporting the Chesterfield Beer Festival 2014, a hardened group of Matlock and Dales volunteers took on the job of supporting the CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival held at the Roundhouse, Derby



What an impressive venue this is - built in 1839 it is the oldest Roundhouse in the country and conveniently located by the railway station on Pride Park. Built in 1839 to service steam locomotives it was used for a variety of other functions including servicing cranes - as an old boy who worked there in the 1950's was keen to reminisce about to me.

400+ real ales and ciders/perries were arranged around the walls in the main hall, leaving the centre area for sitting, moving around and generally socialising. There was more beer including competition entries for Champion Winter Beer of Britain in the Carriage Room, and an added Music Marquee contained even more beer and a stage for the many bands on over the weekend. As you can see from the above picture it got pretty busy in the main hall.

Lots of Derbyshire breweries were represented - there are over 40 now - although Derby Brewing Company, Dancing Duck Brewery and Leatherbritches Brewery all had their own brewery bars.

A selection of the guys hard at work - from top left Graham, Richard, Simon, and from bottom left David, Mick and Graham (again), and Michael





Having worked a shift and had a good look round, and a round for good luck, your MAD volunteers took advantage of the free bus into the town centre to visit the Furnace Inn on Duke Street which is home to the Shiny Brewery and was hosting a small Beer Festival of its own featuring beer from Brodie's of Leyton in North East London. Apparently one Beer Festival is not enough for us, which probably explains why we didn't catch the train home to Matlock and Dales until quite late.