Volunteers from Cleveland Camra are racked and ready for their biggest event in 2014, the Ale and Arty beer festival.
The annual Teesside celebration of real ale returns to the ARC in Stockton for three days from Thursday February 20 to Saturday February 22, with doors opening at 11am tomorrow.
“There’s beers here from as far North as Orkney, and as far South as Sussex,” said Ale and Arty beer festival cellarman Dave Ward.
“We’ll have over 7,500 pints of cask-conditioned real ale to drink over the course of the festival, with all 86 different beers available when we open on Thursday.”
Local ales can be found in offerings from Middlesbrough’s Truefitt Brewery, Stokesley’s Wainstones and Captain Cook breweries, Camerons of Hartlepool, Redscar of Redcar, Yard of Ale and Just a Minute from County Durham and Darlington’s Mithril.
But as well as the beer, cider and perry entertainment is scheduled in the theatre next door with bands and comedians geared up and ready to appease the Ale and Arty beer festival masses.
The Cadillac Kings take to the stage on Thursday night, with Nick Doody headlines the comedy cabaret on Friday, and Teesside Housemartins and Beautiful South tribute act The Southmartins joined by Stockton’s own 25-strong male voice choir Infant Hercules on Saturday.
Tickets have already sold out for both the festival and entertainment on Friday night, but are available for the other sessions, with Dave saying he’s hopeful that by ordering more beer this time around, there should be plenty still on the bar come Saturday.
“At the end of last year, we’d sold over 97% of the beer, with a choice of only 10 beers available at closing time,” he said “but this year we’ve ordered more volume, which we’re sure will be drunk.”
Ale and Arty beer festival – The Setup
Ale and Arty beer festival – Ticket information and opening times
Opening times: 11am to 5pm and 6.30pm to 11pm each day.
Ticket prices: Day admission – £1 (pay on door) or free for card-carrying CAMRA members
Evening admission for beer festival only – Thursday £4.50, Saturday £3.50.
Evening admission for beer festival and entertainment – Thursday £12, Saturday £10
All evening tickets can be bought from ARC’s box office in person, by phone on 01642 525199 or by visiting www.arconline.co.uk