Some of the best cask ales from across the country will be on show at Arkell’s when the brewery in Upper Stratton throws open its gates and welcomes real ale fans for the first beer festival in two years.
The event on Saturday 8 September, 11am to 6pm, in aid of the Prospect Hospice and the Army Benevolent Fund, will feature Arkell’s beers as well as guest brews from members of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain.
Visitors will be able to tour the Kingsdown brewery with Arkell’s head brewer Don Bracher and colleagues, pictured right.
This is a rare opportunity to see one of the finest examples of a Victorian steam brewery anywhere in the world, discover how the brewery works and the science and the touch of magic that goes into making real ale.
James Arkell, managing director of Arkell’s, said, “we love inviting people to our beautiful brewery, and always turn our beer festivals into celebrations, inviting local jazz bands and other attractions to make it a great day out.
“We aim to raise as much money as we can for charity. Most importantly, though, this is a celebration of one of the oldest industries in Britain and certainly the oldest in Swindon. This is part of our country’s heritage, of which we, and our fellow brewers, are very proud indeed.
“The brewing of traditional real ale has changed little over the years. Technology has taken over in most other areas of our lives, you can’t ask a computer to brew beer. For that you need a talented head brewer.”
Arkell’s Head brewer, Don Bracher, is also looking forward to the event. “This is a true celebration of real ale, and of some the oldest, traditional, independent breweries in the country – such as Arkell’s. We’re looking forward to tasting the huge range of tastes and flavours that make up cask beers produced from all over Britain.”
Arkell’s last Beer Festival was last held in 2005, when it attracted over 1000 beer enthusiasts from all over Great Britain.