MP Opens biggest and best Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden launched Hitchin s biggest and best Beer and Cider Festival on the afternoon of Friday 13th March. And with almost as many visitors on the first day of the festival as the whole event last year, the recession fai

Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden launched Hitchin's biggest and best Beer and Cider Festival on the afternoon of Friday 13th March. And with almost as many visitors on the first day of the festival as the whole event last year, the recession failed to put a dampener on the event.

With 20% more stock than last year, beer lovers had a great time supping the 60 British cask beers, 10 ciders and 30 foreign beers on offer. Organisers even had to close the doors at 7pm on the Saturday; turning away prospective customers after literally everything had been drunk. Those who had come along earlier in the day had drunk their way through 6,550 pints in a record 19 hours - that's an average of 344 pints served per hour or about 1 pint every 10 seconds!

This year there were several 'classics' on the list of cask beers, many of which have been multiple award winners in the past. Local breweries were well represented once with several beers each from B&T, Buntingford, Crouch Vale, Red Squirrel, Saffron and Tring.

At the end of the festival, votes were counted and the visitors selected B&T's Black Dragon Mild as their Beer of the Festival.


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Also making a special guest appearance at the festival was Gene Rowe who was signing copies of the 'The Quest for the Holy Ale' a novel he co-authored on ale.

# The Hitchin Beer & Cider Festival, is a joint venture between North Herts CAMRA and the Hitchin Round Table. The Chairmen and the Organising Committee would like to say a big thank you to all who visited the festival and drank all the beer. Equally they'd like to apologise to those who made a journey to find nothing left. Organisers hope to return in 2010 which will be the 10th birthday of this event.

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## Did you attend the festival? Follow the links below to vote for your favourite beer of the festival and you could win a signed copy of Gene Rowe's 'The Quest for the Holy Ale'.

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