This year was a success with the attendance over the three days up on last year and a good sign was that there were still over 100 beers available on the Saturday.
The festival takes place in hall belonging to the STEAM – a museum dedicated to the Great Western Railway that used to build steam trains on the site.
The hall is very spacious with the beer and cider being served from a very long bar on the one side. Seating is provided but not nearly enough considering the amount of space they have. During the quieter times it would have been beneficial to have had more seating and then removed it later in the day.
One major problem at any beer festival is that beers sell out, with some selling out faster than others. If you arrive on a Saturday (usually the last day), the beer guide you receive will list beers that are no longer available. This results in many disappointed trips to the bar when you try and buy a beer that’s no longer there.
To help out, the Swindon Beer Festival featured a big screen that had a rotating list the beers at the festival and identified which ones were no longer available. This may not be practical at all festivals but was very helpful.
I’m a big fan of the Swindon Beer Festival mainly because it’s a great place to try West Country beers. As well as beers from breweries in that area they also have beer from all parts of the country including Scotland and Wales.
The top beers of the festival as voted by visitors were Box Steam Derailed in first place, Old Bear Sun Bear in second place and in joint third Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale, Fyne Ales Avalanche and Pit Stop Sump.
More Photos of the Swindon Beer Festival
Swindon Beer Festival
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