Wheatsheaf Beer Festival - May 2009

The Sixth Spring Beer & Music Festival
23rd - 25th May 2009

What an amazing weekend that was! For once not only did the weather Gods smile on us but the weather men also got the forecast right and we had a ball, with something for everybody. Our guest beers and ciders were greatly enjoyed and more in demand than ever, with the beer gone by 7pm, followed shortly after by the last of the cider (despite a fourfold increase in cider stocks). Never mind, there’s always plenty of Harveys!

The good weather really brought everyone out, and they were treated to some fantastic music from Andy, Donna, and our two headline acts, The Parlophones (a superb 60’s tribute band) and The Big Kahuna (a local 10 piece, big, bold, brassy and brilliant!).

We have no real idea how many people visited over the course of the weekend, but certainly we have never experienced anything like Sunday evening before, and if we have any regrets it is for those who waited patiently for a drink for rather longer than usual. Once again, an enormous thank you to our staff who did an absolutely terrific job for us in very difficult conditions, so thank you Sue, Fran, Anne, Jonathan, Josh, Serena, Karen, Little Michael, Nick, Michael, Lauren, Roger, Michelle, Nicola, Pete, Del, Adrian, Eddie and Paul.

Lessons learned for 2010

We made some changes following the success of 2008. The ladies will have noticed the great improvement to their loo (now very posh and with two WC’s rather than just one), and we said we would double the guest cider order, whereas we did in fact quadruple it and it still wasn’t enough!

Two other things we said we would like to be able do were to increase the number of guest beers, and to have a second sales area to take the load off the main bar when the guest ales run out. We didn’t manage to do either of these, but whilst an increase in guest beers remains an ambition, we have already agreed a supply of lager cooling equipment and beer stollaging for a second sales area to be open on the Sunday evening, manned by members of the Leek Club. This bar will serve Harveys Best Bitter, Fosters Lager and bottles of wine.

Another thing we have to consider, but with great reluctance, is the use of disposable plastic glasses on the Sunday night. From a purely practical point of view we haven’t got  the space to store the hundreds of glasses we need, and the glass washer can’t keep up with the demand.

These changes will help make the 2010 festival even more enjoyable, so watch this website for more information nearer the dates, which will be 29th - 31st May. We hope to see you then, if not sooner.

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The Wheatsheaf
Beer Festival May 2009