Our next great event is an ALE TRAIL!

“What’s a CAMRA Ale Trail”, you may ask, “Isn’t it a beer festival?”

Well there’s one commonality – great real ales and ciders! The main difference is we, CAMRA branches, don’t source and serve the beverages in a marquee or large hall – we couldn’t anyway at the moment, national CAMRA sensibly cancelled all face-to-face events before the lockdown and have maintained a rolling 3-month hold until further notice.

So we in North Herts, like a number of branches, e.g. Peterborough at the end of August, invite pubs and bars to offer you guest ales and ciders over and above their normal offering.

Well, what a response here! ALL, repeat ALL the pubs, bars and hotels that serve real ale normally are taking part and putting on extra – The Whole Town reaching up to Wilbury Hills and Norton and the village of Willian to the south. What stars! LUCKY LETCHWORTH!

Hey, why not come and join in! The trains from London and Cambridge (and beyond each way) are direct and pretty fast links. And from Peterborough it’s just one change at either Hitchin or Stevenage.

To kick off, you could download an advance copy of our souvenir guide here with maps and lists – probably by Tuesday, subject to when the beer and ciders specials lists can be finalised – have a look anyway. But best to pick up a colour paper copy (small donation) from The Three Horseshoes, Norton, The Two Chimneys in Wilbury, or The Three Horseshoes and Fox at Willian, if you start on the outside.

The Letchworth Live pop-up shop at 5, The Arcade, SG6 3ET is the main source of the guides, information, joining opportunities, and souvenir fanwear and festival glasses. We also have a display of CAMRA books that can be ordered, especially featuring the great beer writer Roger Protz, who has a new book just out about Britain’s Family Brewers. Hear about that on CAMRA’s podcast Pubs Pints People – also the theme of our weekend. The interviewer was CAMRA North Herts’ own Publicity Officer, Dean Barrett, who’s also the co-organiser of the weekend with Chris Wilson, Town Managing Director of Love Letchworth.

The Arcade’s a covered shopping parade next to The Three Magnets and close to Garden City Brewery and Crafty’s Beer Shop. We’re a relatively small town, but with great variety.

Not least our MAIN EVENT SPONSORS KHOI KHOI BAR + BRAAI, the newest ale and drinks venue in town, just celebrating its first anniversary. Pop-in and say congrats to Herbie and his enthusiastic young team, to enjoy Letchworth with a Rhodesian flavour!

We’ve alerted the taxis to get you to and from the town if the SAMPLE AND STROLL approach gets too much. And the hotels too – plenty of places to stay in town, in Willian and a short walk from either Stevenage or Hitchin stations.

The Ale Trail and accompanying Treasure Hunt quiz is best enjoyed over at least the 3 days of the World Food Fayre, Friday 25th at noon until Sunday 27th at 5 PM. It’s best on Instagram, but can also be played here or on Facebook – full info when it starts. You have until the 4th of October to submit your Treasure Hunt quiz answers, so take your time to visit the pubs.

National Cask Ale Week runs from Thursday 24th September until Sunday 4th October, so we’ll run the Treasure Hunt over that whole period. You might miss a few guest drinks after the 27th, but you can take a very leisurely pace.

VERY IMPORTANT – ESSENTIAL ACTUALLY

  1. Obey the Rule of 6 (at the time of writing) – only walk, drink or meet with up to 5 others AT ALL TIMES, indoor or out.
  2. Stay 2 metres from any individual and groups – remember if the sampling should loosen your inhibitions, that includes your up to 5 mates – form a 2 metre circle outside, and keep your distance.
  3. Wear face coverings wherever requested and be respectful of those who can’t – keep your distance again. Many retailers in town have facemasks if you forget or lose yours.

So, keep us all COVID safe and it’ll be a great experience!

See you there!

Cheers!

Your CAMRA Letchworth LIVE team