Welcome

Welcome to the 33rd Wigan CAMRA Beer Festival. The beer festival runs from Thursday 5th March 2020 to Saturday 7th March 2020. The venue is the Robin Park Arena, opposite the DW Stadium. The address is : Robin Park Arena, Sports and Tennis Centre, Loire Drive, Wigan, WN5 0UH.

There festival will feature real ales, draught foreign beers, cider and perry, live entertainment, games and tombola and a variety of food stalls. For the first time this year, the festival will also be operating a gin and prosecco bar.

The festival will be open as follows – Thursday 17:30-23:00, Friday 12:00-23:00, Saturday 11:30-21.30.

Entrance for CAMRA members is free at all sessions. Entry fees for non-CAMRA members are as follows: Thursday – free ; Friday, before 6pm – £1 ; Friday, after 6pm – £3 ; Saturday – £2.

There will be a shuttle bus operating between the town centre and the festival venue. The cost of the bus journey is free although donations are welcomed for the upkeep of the buses and service provided by the Wigan Transport Trust.

The festival is organised by Wigan CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale). Huge thanks go out to our main festival sponsors, Wigan Brewhouse and Swinley Plumbing & Tiling.

The festival programme is sponsored by Prospect Brewery and other major sponsors include Bank Top, Blackedge, Hophurst, Mayflower and Wily Fox breweries, along with Wigan CAMRA’s Pub of the Year, the Twisted Vine Ale House. Additional thanks go to Bluechain Solutions who have sponsored the festival on behalf of Billy Ratcliffe, who passed away in 2018 after a battle with prostate cancer – a disease that kills 47,500 men every year.

This year will see records smashed at the festival. There are 112 different cask ales available on the real ale bars and a further 61 beers to go at on our ‘Bières Sans Frontières’ and UK KeyKeg bar. That’s a total of 173 different beers from nearly 100 different breweries, including all 9 from our local branch area! There are 26 different real ciders/perries to try and, for the first time ever, Wigan Beer Festival will have a gin and prosecco bar, operated by Roaming Spirit – the new venture from Wigan and England skipper, Sean O’Loughlin, and Wigan Assistant Coach, Matty Peet.

Opposite the ‘Bières Sans Frontières’ bar, there is a low-level bar to assist those in wheelchairs or those who struggle to access our raised bars.

Real ale is also known as “cask conditioned” beer; the fundamental distinction between real and other ales is that the yeast is still present in the container from which the beer is served, although it will have settled to the bottom and is not poured into the glass. Because the yeast is still alive, the process of fermentation continues in the cask or bottle on the way to the consumer ensuring a fresh and natural taste. Of course, no extra carbon dioxide or mixed gasses can be applied to the beer.

Alongside the Judges Light and Dark Beer of the Festival, last year we ran the People’s Choice Beer of the Festival, with votes cast using the Untappd app scoring system. The 2019 winner was Vocation – Dark Mystic (10.8%).

Every beer pouring at the festival will be eligible to win this year’s prize, with anything that has a minimum of 10 check-ins that has been logged at Wigan Beer Festival considered. Please note, this award is not affiliated with Untappd, and will be awarded by Wigan CAMRA Beer Festival.

You can keep in touch with all the ale-related comings and goings on our website and social media – just search for Wigan CAMRA and Wigan Beer Festival.

CHEERS! Brian Gleave & Sandy Motteram, Festival Organisers

Festival Guidelines

Glasses are oversized and lined to ensure that you, the customer, gets a full pint (or half/third) when you order one. If you require a refund on your glass, please return it no later than 20 minutes after the calling of time. You are of course welcome to take your glass home.

Beer Tokens are used instead of cash at the beer and cider bars. They can not be used at the gin & prosecco bar. Tokens can be bought in £5 sheets from the desk where you came in. Surplus tokens may be refunded or donated to our charity. Last year we were able to donate over £1,000 to Wigan & Leigh Hospice thanks to drinkers’ generosity. If you need a refund on your tokens please do so no later than 20 minutes after time. Tokens are only valid for the session during which they are issued.

Security Wrist Bands have been put on your arm which will allow you to leave the hall for toilet/smoking breaks etc. If you are leaving the building via the front door to smoke you may deposit your glass at the exit point as you are not allowed to drink outside. You will need to be wearing the correct coloured wrist band to be served at the bars. If you are fortunate enough to look under 21 you will have your ID checked and receive a proof of age wristband too.

Finally, please enjoy the festival but do remember all CAMRA staff working at the event are unpaid volunteers so please be patient if we are busy. If you have any comments or queries about the event, then please contact one of us.

To join CAMRA visit the products/membership stand or go online to join.camra.org.uk. If you join at our festival, we will have a tempting offer so just come and have a chat with us. Each year, members receive £30 of vouchers, redeemable at over 1,550 pubs nationwide, as well as the monthly newspaper and quarterly magazine. The more members we have, the stronger our voice supporting beer, cider and pubs.

Food Allergen Information

If you are concerned about food allergens, then all our caterers can supply detailed information on the allergens contained in their food products. Similar advice can be obtained from the managers of our 3 bars.