August 24, 2014 by Kay Byrne
It’s all over for another year, but before the dust has even settled it’s already clear that the 2014 Swansea Camra Beer & Cider festival was a record-breaking event.
We had our best Friday night ever and overall attendance was up from 2,900 last year to 3,200 this year.
We sold 74 kils of beer (that’s more than 6.000 litres), a rise of 10 per cent on last year. Cider sales were even more impressive, with a 15 per cent increase on 2013 to almost 2,000 litres sold.
Brangwyn Hall was packed with people enjoying themselves in a relaxed and happy manner and the new programme of fringe events – talks, tastings, meet the brewer sessions – got the thumbs up from everyone who attended.
Beer of the festival was voted Celt Experience 614 Années, an 8.5% chocolate rye porter with an amazing kick.
In our prize draw for people who chose that beer as the best of the festival, the first name out of the hat was Roberto Bergaz. He won a voucher for a three-course Sunday lunch for two at the Greyhound Inn, Oldwalls, Gower – the home of competition sponsors Gower Brewery.
Runners up in the competition were Kirsten James, who won a mini-keg of Gower Gold and Richard Harding, who won a gift pack of three bottles of Gower Ales.
There was a noticeable increase in female and younger drinkers attending this year as can be seen from the photographs of the festival.
One notable visitor was organiser of the Barcelona Beer Festival Joan Villar-i-Marti who came to the Swansea Festival two years ago and liked it so much he came back this year with companion Laia Llenas Argelaguet.
He’ll be hosting a whopping 25,000 visitors in Barcelona next spring but tweeted later he’d picked up plenty of tips from the Swansea festival.
The branch signed up lots of new members at the festival, including recent Swansea University graduates Gemma Parry and Chris Flynn.
“It was such a good deal to join and we got a free copy of the Good Beer Guide,” said Chris. “We’ll be using it to explore some good real ale pubs in the area.”