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Tameside Beer Festival Returns
Thursday 24th September 2015 @ 10:06 by Tom Greggan

After raising more than £7,000 for charity last year, the Tameside Beer Festival returned last weekend.

The event was staged in Stalybridge Civic Hall and beer fans had more than 36 real ales to choose from, with choice ciders and carefully selected wines also available.

Swing from Dominic Halpin and The HoneyB’s was the entertainment provided for Friday evening, with the Tameside Community Voices and traditional jazz from the Old Fashioned Love Band featured on Saturday.

All profits from the festival will be donated to Breast Cancer Now, Prostate Cancer UK and Friends of Tameside Young Carers.

Brilliant Atmosphere

Sam Ward is Director of The Tweed Brewing Company in Hyde. They were represented at the festival and Sam said: “It looked really good and the feedback we got from festival staff was that our beers was one of the first to go.

I was there around Saturday lunchtime. It was a brilliant atmosphere; there were lots of people there to enjoy beer and talk about beer. People were shocked to hear of a brewery in Hyde.”

Sam believes Tameside is underestimated when it comes to independent brewing companies and real ales. He said: “Tameside seems to be overlooked when it comes to craft beer and real ale because the majority of the pubs are tied houses.

“Ourselves, we’ve got a tiny presence in Tameside. We have to expand into the city centre to keep our necks above the water.

“But the way the festival was put on and managed showed what Tameside has to offer when it comes to craft beer and real ale.

“There were beers there from ourselves, Tickety Brew, Millstone etc. People didn’t realise that there are quite a few breweries on their doorstep. It was nice for us to see people from the local community enjoying our beers and asking questions about what we do.”

Bigger Beer Fest?

Sam also thinks that the Tameside Beer Festival has room to expand next year. “I’d like to see the festival get bigger. I think there’s massive scope for expansion,” he said.

“You just need to look at Stalybridge Buffet Bar which is a craft ale house. That’s hammered all the time so it shows the demand is there.

“It needs to get bigger because there’s definitely a demand. It needs to be advertised more and try and get people in from other areas to showcase what Tameside has to offer.”