The Entertainments Officer !
WRINGTON BEER FESTIVAL 2019
Ok, so I had an exhaustingly but great weekend. Work on Friday ended after covering The International Women’s Day for Airbus Uk in Filton, Bristol, snapping, tweeting and supplying images of speakers including Airbus UK’s Senior Vice President Katherine Bennett, who opened the event. It was very inspirational and I’m sure everybody left feeling a little taller.
I took the afternoon off as this was the weekend of the first Wrington Beer Festival, put on by local brewer Simon Gait of Twisted Oak. Amongst my many roles at the festival I was give the title of ‘Entertainments Officer’ ! Well, I’ve never been a EO before but hey ho, it sounded fun and what could go wrong. ! The festival needed a band, so I booked Ghost Weed, the band with whom I play rhythm guitar, to perform on both nights. Duties for me also included the organising of the sound man, Lighting and PA and luckily I’ve built up enough contacts in the Rock and Roll world (ark at I !) to book the man who can, Toby Abbott who works with riverside recordings. My first job was to help him lump the lighting and sound gear onto the stage ( I’m good at lumping ). As he progressed , things became lot more technical and I felt a little out of my depth, so I thought it best to leave it to him and I trundled off to my secret cider house.
One the biggest thrills of the weekend was that along wth 20 local Ales half a dozen Ciders (including my favourite, ‘Barley Wood Cider’ brewed by the lovely Izzie and Paul in their delightful circular Cider House just up the road at the Walled Garden ) I managed, by the skin of my teeth, to supply 20 litres of my very own Cider, the first airing of L’ Avenue des deux Philippe’ hand pressed and brewed in the Vale of Wrington. Using apples picked from North East Somerset (not far from Keynsham ) the cider came in at 7.0% Alc Vol and was given the thumbs up by Chief cider taster Richard, at Thatchers Cider who kindly measured the volume for me and also gave me some very useful advice on sweetening the cider. I measured out the sugar solution to achieve a Medium dry cider, but I think I somehow managed to slightly overdo the sweetening and the cider seemed to me to be Medium Sweet. Anyway this did it no harm as it proved a very easy and drinkable product and sold out by 10pm on the Saturday night, in the process helping to raise lots of money for the Local Wrington Scouts. 7% was little stronger that I wanted it though and whenever I saw somebody buying or drinking my cider, I was very quick to point out that behind the sweetness lurked the kick of an angry mule !!!
This has really raised my spirits on the cider making front. Over the past couple of years I’ve managed to make some very below average cider and was considering sticking to producing just apple juice, so although I will continue to make mainly apple juice, I will keep experimenting with cider making.
Anyway, back to the music, Ghost Week played both nights and it was such a thrill to see so many Wringtonians dancing to our tunes (see Video below) I wanted a open mic session for the Saturday afternoon and invited some local talent to play. This included ‘High and Dry’, North Somerset’s premier Sea Shanty band, classically trained Ian and Zoe Maitland Brown, who treated us to some mellow Jazz (after myself and drummer Matt had lumped the piano onto the stage ) and a Banjo and Guitar duo who sang an eclectic mix of 70s and 80s music, including ‘It must be love’ by ‘Madness’ and ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie, which brought on a bout of lively communal singing and even a little hugging . It was a memorable afternoon, the beer flowed steadily, the Ploughmans Lunch filled our stomachs and with the weak milky sunlight streaming through the memorial Hall windows everything probably went little warm and hazy for the beer drinkers and probably those drinking my cider !:-)
I’d just like to finish by saying ‘well done’ to all the team, and I believe more than £2000,00 was raised for the Local Scouts to go towards their new Mini Bus. Below are selection of images from the weekend, hopefully the images capture the sprit of the event. Here’s to next year :-)
Link here to this weeks Weston Mercury Article on the Festival … Weston Mercury