Thousands soak up Rail Ale Festival

More than 7,000 people got a taste of the Rail Ale Festival at the weekend.

Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:41 pm
Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse, Alexa Stott welcomes the East Midlands Trains team that brought a special train of beer enthusists up from London St Pancras
Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse, Alexa Stott welcomes the East Midlands Trains team that brought a special train of beer enthusists up from London St Pancras

The three-day event at Barrow Hill Roundhouse attracted visitors from all parts of the country - and further afield from the likes of Australia and Japan.

This year, the popular festival included a new layout following ongoing building works funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund but still included the steam and diesel locomotives as backdrops to the bars.

The event kick off on Thursday with a VIP lunch and a talk by guest speaker Keith Bott, managing director of Titanic Brewery in Stoke-on-Trent. Later on Thursday, the Beer of the Festival was judged with the winner announced as Ashover Brewery with Thor Cake.

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Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse, new for this year was the Prosecco bar where Tony Ruddis was pouring the fizz

Dozens of visitors also took the opportunity to take a ride not only on the usual internal shuttles that travel up and down the Roundhouse’s railway line, but also to take a beer or two on a return train journey to Chesterfield.

A spokesman for the festival said: “The Rail Ale team’s thanks go to all festival visitors and volunteers, including several local CAMRA branches, who had teams serving behind the bars. Our thanks also go to sponsors and everyone who helped to make this event such a success.”

Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse,
Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse, new for this year was the Prosecco bar where Tony Ruddis was pouring the fizz
Rail Ale at Barrowhill Roundhouse,