As well as the fortieth anniversary of CAMRA itself, 2011 marks two important anniversaries specific to Cambridge. Firstly, and very much on the “town” side, it is 60 years since Cambridge ceased to be just a town and gained city status. Ten years before that, in 1941, the first British jet powered flight took place. This flight was powered by an engine designed by Frank Whittle (later to become Sir Frank Whittle), a fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.

As always, we’ll have a huge range of beers – well over 200 this year. As well as microbreweries from near and far we’ll be endeavouring to get a few more unusual beers from some of our larger regional brewers. Our old local favourites Milton and Cambridge Moonshine will of course be there, joined for the first time on Jesus Green by our two new locals – Fellows and Lord Conrad’s.

As well as running Cambridge’s cider bar, Chris Rouse is also CAMRAs East Anglia cider coordinator. Thanks to this, the cider and perry bar will once again have one of the best selections from the area you’ll find under any roof, be it canvas or something more solid. A new feature of the last few years has been our mead bar. We (with your help of course) will be doing our very best to get through the UK’s entire mead supply again this year. We haven’t managed yet, but apparently we’re getting there. Festival regulars Chilford Hall will be with us once again with their range of award-winning East Anglian wines. ALE’s very own Lambic Monster will be in attendance once again, which will of course be reflected on the foreign bar. Lambic beers do tend to divide opinion, so the bar has more than just those. As usual, there’ll be beers in bottles and on draught from Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and further afield.

Any article about the Cambridge Beer Festival would be woefully incomplete without a mention of the cheese counter. The arduous task of trying cheeses goes on throughout the year, aiming to bring the best from all around the British Isles.

You’re probably aware that the festival is organised and staffed entirely by volunteers. We always need more staff, both on the bars and behind the scenes – glasses, the front entrance, the site team, stewarding, looking after the beers. Whether you want to be on site from the moment we first open the gate on the Green or just a few hours one evening, we’d very much like you to come along and volunteer. Most people even find it fun – your correspondent went from working behind the bar for one evening in 2001 to organising the festival 10 years later. For more information, or to volunteer, visit www.cambridgebeerfestival.com, email enquiries@cambridgebeerfestival.com or call 01223 967808 and leave a message.
See you on Jesus Green.