Festival survival guide

How to get the most from your visit to the Cambridge Winter Ale Festival.

Card payments

We’re trialling card payments at the venue for the first time this year, so it’s probably wise to bring cash. If you need to visit a cash machine, we have a pass-out scheme at the front entrance.

First aid

Should you need first aid assistance, please ask a member of the stewarding team (distinguished by their bright yellow clothing) or any other volunteer for assistance from our qualified first-aiders.

Arrival

At the entrance, please have your money ready.

Queues sometimes form at the entrance – our stewarding team will help manage this.

Beer list

To help you choose and locate your drink, we provide a festival beer list that includes the beer and cider lists. The currently available foreign beers will be displayed on the foreign bar.

If you need a large print version of the beer list, please ask at the bar.

Glass

After leaving the entrance, proceed upstairs to the main hall, where you can purchase your souvenir festival glass. Glasses are oversized and lined at the third and half pint measures. This is to ensure you receive a full measure – something CAMRA campaigns for.

If you don’t want to keep your glass at the end of the session, you can return it to the glasses stall for a refund. However, we’d prefer if you took it home – why not start your Cambridge Beer Festival glass collection? NB if you take your glass home, hand-wash it rather than using a dishwasher, to keep it looking great.

But please remember: no glass, no drink; no glass, no refund.

Broken glass

If you break your glass, please:

  1. Do not pick up the broken glass
  2. Stand still over the broken glass
  3. Ask someone to contact a member of the stewarding team (distinguished by their bright yellow clothing) or any other volunteer for assistance
  4. Wait for one of our volunteers to come and safely remove the broken glass.

Getting your drink

There are two bars at the Winter Ale Festival.

The main bar is upstairs on the left of the main hall. Beers are arranged in alphabetical order by brewery, starting with “A” on the left as you view the bar from the glasses counter. The foreign beer bar is at the rear of the main hall.

There is a smaller bar downstairs at the rear of the building, where the remainder of the beers can be found, together with the cider bar.

The drinks listed in the beer list are those we’ve ordered from the brewers, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all be available all the time. Some drinks may be available that aren’t listed. All the drinks that are available will have a sign displayed on the end of the cask.

Help us to help you

Here are a few tips to help both you and our volunteers have an enjoyable time.

  1. Please select your choice before getting to the bar and have a second choice in case it’s not available.
  2. Volunteers will only serve from the bar at which they are working, so check carefully before ordering.
  3. Beers will be arranged alphabetically by brewery, from left to right as you look at the bars.
  4. Ask for your choice by quantity, brewery name and beer name
    • Do specify the amount you want – does “may I try?” mean you want a sample, third, half or pint?
    • We often have more than one beer or cider available from the same producer.
    • There could be two beers or ciders with the same name, but from different producers available on that bar.
  5. Please have the correct change, if possible.
  6. We’re only human, so please be patient! We try to serve everybody in turn, but when we’re very busy it can be difficult to keep track. Note that drawing attention to yourself by banging glasses on the bar or waving money at the volunteers tends to be counter productive
  7. Enjoy yourselves! If you have any questions, and we are not busy, then please ask. Our volunteers like talking about what we have available.

Getting something to eat

The club’s kitchen provides a range of hot food, and can be found downstairs.