Old Town Beer and Cider Festival only three days away

By Barrie Hudson - 10 May 2022

CommunityFood & Drink

The 2022 Old Town Beer and Cider Festival will run on Friday and Saturday, 13 and 14 May at Christ Church.

There will be an official opening ceremony at noon on the Saturday, attended by Swindon Town Chief Executive Rob Angus and possibly another Town VIP.

This year's festival will be the ninth overall and the first full event since before the pandemic.

A much smaller one-day event was held last summer but this year sees the return of the two-day event in the usual month of May.

A spokesperson for the annual fundraiser for the Church and the Community Centre said: "The town is buzzing at the moment following Swindon Town’s rise up League One this season and our friends at Swindon Town have agreed to officially open the proceedings for us at 12 noon on Saturday, 14 May. 

"Chief Executive Rob Angus will be in attendance as well as a player if training schedules allow. Why not build up for the big play off match on Sunday by coming along for an advanced (day before) pre match drink or two?

"We are offering reduced entry tickets of £10 for all Swindon Town fans (normally £15). This entitles you to a festival glass to keep, your first tywo drinks and a festival guide. The weather is looking like it’s going to be a scorcher so don’t forget to bring a sun hat and lotion

"We are again expecting more than 1000 people to grace our historic site. We will ensure that no one will be thirsty, with 48 beers and 29 ciders for you to try. We are proud to support local and quite a few of them are from the surrounding areas including from new brew pub Drink Valley and new craft brewing company Vibish.

"People like to try different things at the festival and we have also got also got from further afield such as the Nottingham and Birmingham areas. Ciders are sourced for us by Lilleys."

The spokesperson added: "This year’s charity is the Swindon Blind Association based at Craven House on Victoria Road, Old Town. Lots of smaller charities are often missed so we are delighted that they will be with us for the event to raise funds and awareness for their charity. They will be running a raffle.

"We also have the Swindon Old Town Rotary Club selling ducks for their famous race which will take place on Sunday, 29 May. They will also be donating funds raised to the Blind Association."

The main event sponsors are the Hop Inn, recent winners of CAMRA Beer Pub of the Year, and Los Gatos, Old Town’s popular Spanish eatery. Each business is in its fifth year of supporting the festival.

Jason Putt at the Hop said: “I am delighted to be able to support the Old Town beer festival. We have seen the event grow along with ourselves, we are now thriving again in both the Hop and Little Hop and look forward to seeing many of you at the event and also at The Hop."

Tickets cost £15 for both the Friday evening (6-11pm) and the Saturday day session from noon to 10pm. Full-price tickets include a free drink, a commemorative glass and a festival brochure. 

For people just fancy popping along for the Saturday evening, tickets are available from at the reduced price of £5 (glass and brochure only).

The organisers are grateful to Swindon's Gel Studios and especially Elisha Gorton for adding a more professional feel to this year's brochure.

Food will be provided by Graham Rowcliffe and his team from ‘Food for Thought’ (formerly Dotty’s café) who will again be serving up fish and chips, burgers, beef chilli and a veggy bean stew.

Mr Rowcliffe said “We love coming to Christ Church, there is always such a fantastic atmosphere and a real community feel. Where else can you be welcomed into a church and have the unique experience of a pint in a pew?."

For the first time Love Brownies, newly opened in Swindon, will be at the event selling brownies, and the team at Rays Ice Cream shop are back to support the event. The Friends of Christ Church will also be serving a selection of rolls between 12.30-3.30pm

On Sunday, 15 May, the organisers will host a concert by Christian Group Out of the Ashes, kindly sponsored by Pearce Funeral Services. The doors will open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Tickets are priced at £10 and this includes all drinks and snacks.

Tickets for the festival are available from the community centre and via Eventbrite, and further information can be found at www.oldtownbeerfestival.com

Concert tickets can be purchased at the door or online via https://ccccswindon.co.uk/page/tickets 


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