2013 Carmarthen Beer Festival

The 2013 Carmarthen Beer Festival took part a week later than usual, from Thursday 3rd October to Saturday the 5th. This year we again had over forty real ales to choose from, including offerings from recent new breweries including the Gower Brewery, The Handmade Beer Company and the Mantle Brewery. Old stalwarts, including Bullmastiff's Son of a Bitch and Evan Evans Cwrw were present as ever, alongside Tomos Watkin and Swansea Breweries. We had two excellent bands playing this year. The Blue Street Band played on Friday whilst UBATUBA played on Saturday. The Beer of the Fesitval for 2013 was Osset's Silver King, with Bath Gem and Gower Gold being awarded second and third place respectively. Until the 2014 Beer Festival....

The Carmarthen Beer Festival

The Carmarthen Beer Festival
Taking place at St. Peters Civic Hall, Carmarthen between the Thursday 3rd of October and Saturday 5th October.

Wednesday Setup

Wednesday Setup
The stillage arrives in bits. At least we have the Swansea Brewery delivery in. So we can at least have a little bit of a piss up if all goes tits up!

An empty St. Peter's Hall

An empty St. Peter's Hall
The Stillage is in bits on the floor, but we should be able to construct the damn thing in a couple of hours.

Stillage

Stillage
Stillage framework for the Carmarthen Beer Festival. Long way to go before we can start placing Casks on it's skeleton.

Beer list for the 2013 Carmarthen Beer Festival

Beer list for the 2013 Carmarthen Beer Festival
There's actually a science behind where should each Beer be placed on the stillage. We'll it's more about just knowing your ABC's, as we place the casks in alphabetical order by brewery. So if you're at next year's beer festival and your down towards the stage ordering an Ale with a brewery that starts with a T (for example Tomos Watkin), hang your head in shame and take the long walk down towards the bottom of the bar where the Ciders. That's where you'll find your OSB and Cwrw Haf. Hey, look at the bright side, the Thornbridge brewery starts with a T, and they make great beers.

Stillage Setup

Stillage Setup
Look! Something is happening.

Stillage Framework

Stillage Framework
Will be a matter of time before we can start placing casks on the stillage. An interesting side note, we managed to purchase a new black floormat to help keep all the barstaff from falling on their backside whilst working that long Friday night shift.

The Beers have arrived

The Beers have arrived
The bulk of the ales have finally arrived, courtesy of the Brecon Brewery who never lets us down, by acting as our little distribution hub. Can you guess the breweries from the colour of the casks?

Beer Festival Casks

Beer Festival Casks
An interesting side note. Tenby Ales, whose cask is placed at the bottom left of the picture, used to be called The Preseli Brewery. Yet they still have that crazily named beer "Baggywrinkle". Hey, we at Carmarthen CAMRA aren't complaining, as the name sells that beer on it's own.

Inspecting the casks

Inspecting the casks
A close inspection to ascertain whether all the casks that were meant to turn up had actually turned up. To my knowledge we have never had anything go missing or never arrived on the van. Well that's what Richard told me anyhow ;-)

An even closer inspection

An even closer inspection
Yes, we're sure all the casks are here.

The stillage taking shape

The stillage taking shape
Yet, there's still a lot of work to do.

First the stillage, now the bar

First the stillage, now the bar
Finally, the bar starts to look like a bar. Although that gap in the bar shouldn't be there...

Casks on the Stillage

Casks on the Stillage
What a beautiful sight. Now we need to let them settle.

Everything pretty much set up

Everything pretty much set up
The Carmarthen Beer Festival pretty much ready to go.

A selection of Ciders

A selection of Ciders
It's not only Real Ales that are popular at the Carmarthen Beer Festival, Gwynt y Ddraig Ciders including Black Dragon, Dog Dancer and Haymaker sell very well and are always a hit.

Tiny Rebel!

Tiny Rebel!
I've been going on for two years about getting a Tiny Rebel brew at the Carmarthen Beer Festival, and finally this year we managed to get Urban IPA on the bill. Next year we have to get Hadouken! on the bill. That will blow all the Carmarthen CAMRA hophead's head off!

The top half of the Bar

The top half of the Bar
Plenty of lovely ales on offer, including Bath Gem, Elland Porter, Dark Star American IPA and Evan Evans Cwrw X.

Casks Ales

Casks Ales

Robinson's Trooper

Robinson's Trooper
I had to take a picture of the all the hops that had burst out of the cask when we tapped Robinson's Trooper. Made a bloody mess I can tell ya! Even though there were a lot of hops in the cask, the flavours didn't transfer to the beer. Disappointing, as the beer tasted quite dull to me. This beer died on it's ass, let alone with it's boots on.

H. Upmann Magnum 48

H. Upmann Magnum 48
A sneaky H. Upmann Magnum 48 after the setting up of the Carmarthen Beer Festival on the Wednesday outside Wetherspoons. Just love the flavour kick of this H. Upmann. Don't assume that all H. Upmann's were born mild!

Evan Evans Pump Clips

Evan Evans Pump Clips
A selection of the Evan Evans Ales we had on this year at the Carmarthen Beer Festival. Cwrw and Warrior are beer festival regulars, with Full Cry, Cwrw X and Evan Evans owned Archers WGV making up the other three offerings for this year. Just don't ask Simon what he thought about the other beer's at the festival...

Bullmastiff Son of a Bitch available

Bullmastiff Son of a Bitch available
Possibly the biggest surprise of the Carmarthen Beer Festival arrived early on the Thursday where notorious late shower Bullmastiff Son of a Bitch was ready to be served on the first evening. Usually, this robust ale is so hazy that it's not ready to serve until Saturday, the 3rd and final day of the festival.

Serving behind the bar

Serving behind the bar
Watch out!

A selection of casks

A selection of casks

Serving behind the bar

Serving behind the bar

The first hour - Thursday evening

The first hour - Thursday evening
The first customers arriving on the Thursday evening, ready to sample the ales that we had on.

Thursday evening

Thursday evening

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon
Where's Wally... err Huw.....?

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon

Friday Afternoon
Where's Wally... err... Huw...?

Blue Street Band

Blue Street Band
Look! It's Neil Rosser.

Dancing on the Stage

Dancing on the Stage
Beer and a band makes people go crazy. The Blue Street Band getting the crowd on their feet.

Dancing on the Stage

Dancing on the Stage
More shanigans.

Saturday morning. All is calm.

Saturday morning. All is calm.

Saturday Morning. All is calm

Saturday Morning. All is calm
Purple Moose , Snowdonia Ale lasted two hours into Saturday before it was declared finished. Well done drinkers.

Saturday morning, before opening

Saturday morning, before opening
Huw, Peter, Barry, Richard & Simon bracing themselves.

Stage invasion

Stage invasion
UBATUBA, being the high energy band that they are, got the crowd on their feed all right... right up onto the stage! Pete and Bryan had their hands full getting the punters removed from the stage!

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

UBATUBA

Hefin enjoying post-beer festival glory

Hefin enjoying post-beer festival glory
At the end of Saturday night, Hefin crowned Beer Festival Champion.

Hefin - 2013 Beer Festival Champion

Hefin - 2013 Beer Festival Champion
The Beer Festival Champion for 2013 was Hefin John, who managed to sample all available Ale's at the festival first. Pictured alongside the Carmarthen CAMRA chairman Bryan Norman (left) and Peter Davies (right) Congratulations Hefin, enter the winner's circle!
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