This weekend, the Gloucester CAMRA sub-branch hosted a bit of a do at Hillside Brewery as a thank you to the volunteers that helped out at their third annual Beer and Cider Festival at Blackfriars back in April.
The event took place at Hillside Brewery in Longhope, and they also used the opportunity to hand over a cheque to the Royal British Legion for the charity money raised during the beer festival.
The Beer Festival was an excellent event, about which I blogged at the time. It is run entirely by volunteers from CAMRA – mostly from Gloucester or wider Gloucestershire, but some from further afield – in fact some came from as far away as Newcastle to help out!
Hillside Brewery was chosen for this ‘thank-you’ event as they were one of the beer festival sponsors. They also brewed a special beer for the event called ANZAC to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, which happened to coincide with the date of the festival. For every pint of this special beer drunk during the festival £1 was donated to the Royal British Legion.
So we set off by coach for Hillside Brewery on Saturday afternoon. The weather was not promising, with low, grey drizzly cloud. When we arrived we couldn’t even see the marvellous view from the terrace behind the brewery.
Luckily this didn’t matter, as the brewery has a large covered barn with heaters and, importantly, in the corner, a bar from which they were dispensing ANZAC on handpull as well as a range of their other beers in bottles.
Despite the weather, in good British tradition the barbeque was fired up and the copious amount of food we’d brought with us was cooked up. Before long, the clouds started to disperse and, although it never really became sunny, it at least brightened up enough to reveal the view.
Once we had all consumed a substantial amount of beer and food, Margaret, Chair of Gloucester CAMRA, presented a cheque for £1000 to a small delegation from the Royal British Legion who had joined us for the afternoon. This came from the festival sales of ANZAC plus generous donations from visitors over the weekend.
In turn the Royal British Legion presented a Certificate of Appreciation to both Gloucester CAMRA and Hillside Brewery.
Mutual appreciation over and done with, we all resumed eating and drinking.
All of which goes to show, drinking can be a charitable activity, and there are distinct advantages to volunteering to help out at the CAMRA Beer Festival.