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Rutland Beer Festival

From 1999 onwards the Annual Rutland Beer Festival has taken place at the Grainstore Brewery. Entering it’s 16th consecutive year 2015 promises to be a special event indeed.

This year marks to the first Beer Festival to take place since the company was passed to Tony Davis’s son William and his business partner Peter Atkinson. Both are determined to make this years Festival one to remember.

Contrary to popular belief, these things are rarely just thrown together, and take months of planning and preparation. From planning the Real Ale and Cider list, to sourcing stillaging, marquees, glassware, brochures, festival clothing, entertainment and food offerings, it is all months in the making. Every year the debates rage. Shall we offer different food? What sort of bands should we book? What colour T-Shirts and what merchandise should we offer? Questions, questions, questions…

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With just four weeks left before we throw open the doors to festival goers, it all seems a long way from being ready!

The beer ‘wish list’ is ready, most have been ordered, the glassware is on order and the bands are for the most part, booked. In all fairness that’s about it. Until the beer list is complete, the brochures can not be designed and printed, the marquee goes up three days before, the stillaging arrives the next day, the staff are a work in progress right up until the opening night and none of the food will arrive until the opening day. So many opportunities for something to let us down, and yet every year it all comes together by around 5pm on the opening Thursday!

Year on year something is cause for concern. I remember well, in 2012 when the glasses turned up three minutes prior to our published opening time, despite being on order for three months and with a scheduled delivery date of the previous Monday. The manafacturers in the end having to send over 1000 pint glasses via courier to get them to us on time…panic over.

Despite all of the preparations, countless lists and discussions too numerous to count on several hundred hands, something will chuck a bucket load of spanners into the cogs with seconds to spare.

And yet despite all of that, it always comes together, on time, to budget and with a perceived sense of calm.

With 80 Real Ales, 10 Real Ciders, 8 Live Bands, 5 full on days making 1 great event it is always worth the energy and efforts put in by all concerned.

New for 2015, is the addition of entertainment all afternoon and evening on both Saturday and Sunday. Acts will be performing at 2pm, 5pm and 8.30pm, including an outdoor stage, to keep you entertained all day. If the debate ever finishes in time, we might even have something special on Monday night to close the Festival.

New for 2015, our trade day will open the festival, with every licencee that buys our ales invited to come along and sample the event for themselves.

Check out our What’s On Page for a full list of acts appearing this year.

Coming Soon – The 2015 Beer and Cider List will be available here shortly.

With all of this still to come together, it’s a wonder we all have any hair at all.

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