The very first Chew Valley Beer Festival was conceived and held in 2003 following a conversation at the monthly "Ubley Publey" social - when the bar lounge area becomes the village pub on the first Friday of each month - everyone welcome. The first beer festival was a relatively modest affair with around 15 barrels of beer as no-one had any idea of how many people would come; or how much they would drink.
Following on from the success of the first year, the second year saw a dramatic increase in the number of beers available and a few tweaks to the format based on the lessons learnt. The initial aim was to try and source beers from breweries within a 50 mile radius - a surprisingly large pool to choose from.
The next few years saw a steady increase in the number of beers resulting in a complete overhaul of the barrel racking systems. The web site was launched and the format started to settle down. To ensure variation in the beers from year to year, the aim of sourcing all beer within 50 miles was dropped, although the majority of the beers are still from within that distance.
The festival has always had a handful of ciders available for those who like their "beer" cloudy, but new racking in 2009 enabled the number and range of ciders to be increased significantly - 2010 saw six different ciders to complement the 32 barrels of beer.
Current Committee Members
The festival is manned (& womanned) by a large number of willing volunteers whose help is invaluable to ensure the whole event runs smoothly. The main organising & researching is done a small band of frequently merry men....
- Derek Sowden
- David Thomas
- Tony Hooper
- Paul Knight
- John Thompson
- Gavin English
- Rob Matthews