Line up for a spectacular weekend of rugby and fine ales at Goldington Road

Launching the Bedford rugby and beer festival are  Karl Ottomar, Charles Wells Head Brewer (Centre) with Blues Captain Nick Fenton-Wells and Second Row/Flanker Paul Tupai
Launching the Bedford rugby and beer festival are Karl Ottomar, Charles Wells Head Brewer (Centre) with Blues Captain Nick Fenton-Wells and Second Row/Flanker Paul Tupai

Two of Bedford best-known organisations are getting together to host a spectacular weekend of Bedford beer and rugby at Goldington Road.

Charles Wells and Bedford Blues have been working in partnership for decades, with the local brewery backing the team as sponsors and fans enjoying Bedford’s beers at the ground.

Following the success of their Guest Ale Series which sees a different Charles Wells guest ale on offer at each home match, the idea has now expanded into a two-day mini festival combining the greatest sport with the best locally brewed beers, on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21.

Beers from the Bombardier, Courage and Young’s range will be on offer as well as the brewery’s current seasonal beer DNA, Eagle IPA plus a couple of surprise additions.

The festival gets underway on March 20 in the Blues Marquee when Mike Rayer’s men face the Cornish Pirates in the Greene King IPA Championship. Gates open at 5pm giving the Goldington Road faithful plenty of time to sample some of the best beers around before the game kicks off at 7.45pm. The following day offers another opportunity to sample some Charles Wells brews, but this time the rugby entertainment will come courtesy of the big screen as this year’s Six Nations Championship comes to a crescendo.

Doors will be opening at midday with Italy’s game against Wales kicking off just 30 minutes later. At 2.30pm it will be time for live coverage of Scotland versus Ireland and the day will be rounded off at 5pm when England take on France live from Twickenham, with admission free.

Karl Ottomar, head brewer at Charles Wells said: “What better way to enjoy a weekend of rugby and cheer on our local team than with a pint of excellent locally brewed ale? We’ve got a great line up of beers planned for the festival with a real assortment on offer so there’s something for every taste.”

Entry to the Friday night beer festival is included in the price of a Bedford Blues v Cornish Pirates match day or season ticket and Saturday will be free entry to all, with just a small charge for a limited edition Bedford Blues beer glass to sample the ales on offer.

During a team visit to the Charles Wells Brewery last week, Bedford Blues operations manager Gareth Alred said: “We are excited to continue our fantastic working partnership with Charles Wells and thank the brewery for their support in this latest initiative which we hope will prove popular with fans. We are committed to consistently improving our match day experience at Goldington Road and hope you can join us under the Friday night lights.”

Tickets for the match are available online at www.bedfordrugby.co.uk/tickets with an online discount of £2 or can be bought from the gate on match day. More information on the Charles Wells range of beers is available on the website at www.charleswells.co.uk or Twitter @WellsBrewery