Countdown is on to return of Wigan Beer Festival
Wigan’s real ale fans are getting ready to raise their glasses after the countdown to the borough’s biggest beer bash officially got under way yesterday.
The annual Wigan Beer Festival will return to Robin Park Arena from March 5-7, with some exciting new additions, following a launch event yesterday at the DW Stadium, attended by big names in the local brewing world as well as Wigan Warriors stars.
Organised by the Wigan branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), the 33rd festival will feature over 70 real ales, draught foreign beers, cider and perry, live entertainment, games and tombola and a variety of food stalls.
And for the first time this year, the festival will also be operating a gin and prosecco bar.
Thirsty Wiganers will even have transport to the event sorted for them - 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 beer festival is widely regarded as one of the best in the North West, owing to its mix of local fare and more far flung brews.
Sandy Motteram, Wigan CAMRA branch chairman, said: “The launch was fantastic, we’ve never done it at the stadium before. To launch the festival with stars from Wigan Warriors was fantastic.
“We have another fantastic line-up of beers from the UK and abroad, and have beers from Italy for the first time as well.”
Sandy said the beer festival’s popularity was a reflection of Wigan’s growing position in the real ale world.
“While some other festivals have fallen by the wayside, Wigan Beer Festival is getting stronger and stronger, and providing a more varied offering every year.”
He added: “Over the years, we’ve sadly seen some beautiful traditonal pubs close, but we’ve also seen some wonderful new modern bars opening.
“We have bucked the trend in Wigan, and have more pubs opening that closing, which is a wonderful achievement. We also have nine breweries who are all making fantastic beer.
“In terms of an ale destingation, Wigan is one of the best places around.”
The festival opens in 21 days, on Thursday, March 5.
Doors will be open from 5.30-11pm, and continues on Friday from noon to 11pm.
The final day of the festival starts at 11.30am on Saturday March 7 and will come to an end at 9.30pm.
For more information, visit beerfestival.wigancamra.org.uk