As usual we have a very wide range of real ales (around 120) and various ciders and perries, and our popular foreign beer bar is back. And to soak it all up, there's Cambridge Beer Festival's famous selection of 'real food': traditional cheeses, hams, pies etc.
It is a great pleasure that two breweries, Milton and Tring, have chosen us to launch their new beers, and we are delighted to be the first beer festival in the country to have Woodforde's 4-4-2.
This year I've introduced a couple of new features and changed some things around, hopefully for the better. The ultimate objective is to expand the festival and make it more attactive to social drinkers and families alike. To this end we have arranged with Cambridge City Football Club for a children's football coaching session on Saturday afternoon. And as an experiment we're returning to a more pub-like style of musical entertainment to help you and our staff enjoy the festival more fully.
Please let me take this opportunity to remind you that everyone involved in the festival, from myself to the bar staff, the people on the doors, and everyone who has worked hard behind the scenes for the last 12 months to make the festival happen, are all volunteers. Without their commitment, there would be no festival. More volunteers are always welcome, however!
You will be pleased to know that as we move into a new millennium, East Anglian branches of CAMRA - and Cambridge and District in particular - are bucking the national trend of falling numbers at beer festivals. So despite what the big breweries would have you believe, in this part of the country at least, real ale continues to thrive in the face of competition from strongly promoted lagers and nitro-keg.
So thank you for your support, keep up the good drinking, have a good festival . . .
P.S. Don't forget the competition to design next year's logo!