Cheers! Bedford's Beer and Cider Festival is back - and it starts tomorrow

The festival has been run since 1978

By Laura Hutchinson
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 6:08 pm

Bedford's Beer and Cider Festival returns after the pandemic put a dent in its 43-year history.

Local CAMRA members have organised the festival in the town every autumn since 1978 - but were forced to take 2020 off due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Now the festival returns to the Corn Exchange on St Paul's Square, although it will be slightly smaller than usual, with no live entertainers.

Bedford's Beer and Cider Festival is back

But there will still be plenty of real ale and cider to wet your whistle!

The event runs from tomorrow, Wednesday, October 6 to Saturday, October 9. It will be open from 4pm to 11pm on Wednesday, 12pm to 11pm on Thursday and Friday, and 12pm to 10.30pm on Saturday.

Admission on the door is £2 before 4pm, and after 4pm is £3 on Wednesday, £4 on Thursday, £6 on Friday and £3 on Saturday.

CAMRA members with a valid membership card will be admitted free at all times.

You can buy token sheets in the hall to use to purchase your drinks of choice, with unused tokens being kept for another visit, refunded in cash or donated to charity.

About 80 real ales will be arranged alphabetically on two back-to-back bars in the main hall, including beers from local breweries.

A limited range of craft and draught foreign beers will also be available through KeyKeg dispense from a separate bar in the far right-hand corner of the main hall - but there will be no imported bottled beers this year.

About 40 real ciders and perries will be available from a separate bar in the far left-hand corner of the main hall. Suppliers will include local cider makers in Bedfordshire and neighbouring counties.

There will also be a small range of red and white wines at the Cider Bar and a mead stall run by specialist Rookery Mead under the balcony in the main hall.

With all that drink, you'll probably want some food - hot and cold food, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks from Café Atlantic will be served in the Howard Room upstairs.

Carbonated soft drinks will be available free of charge from the Cider Bar, and fresh tapwater will be available from the glasses counter.

And if all that wasn't enough, there will also be a tombola and pub game stall run by CAMRA East Bedfordshire branch.