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Archived News - Beer Festival

15th Eaton Bray Beer Festival - 8th & 9th June 2018

This article was published in June 2018. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

2018 Eaton Bray Beer Festival

11th Eaton Bray Beer Festival - 30/31 May 2014

This article was published in May 2014. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2014 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.

11th Eaton Bray Beer & Cider Festival




11st Eaton Bray Village Hall
Beer and Cider Festival
Friday 30th May / Saturday 31st May
30 Real Ales + 2 ciders and 2 perrys
Soft drinks, lager and wine available
Hot food and BBQ available lunchtime and evenings
Live entertainment: Friday night - Bob Thompson
Saturday afternoon Family Magic Show
Saturday evening - Jerome Chance
Fri - mid-day till 11pm, Saturday mid-day till 11pm
Entrance £3 by raffle ticket
Free to CAMRA members with card proof

Eaton Bray Village Hall

This article was published in June 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Honestly, there I not much to say this month except to thank all of you who came to the quiz on the 21st April. This was a sell out and the Village Hall Fund Raising Committee and Tennis Club shared nearly £1200 between them, so again, we hope you had a good time and just to remind you that the next Quiz will be on Saturday 17th November, just give me a ring to book your tickets.

Just as Focus hits your doormat in late May or early June, we will be holding the Beer Festival (Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June). I do hope that I will see some of you there and especially some of the younger folk who will be attending the Tea Party on the Saturday afternoon. This is a great way to bring all the families of Eaton Bray together to help celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

I hope by next month to be able to fill you in on when the Hall's carpark is going to be resurfaced, we are meeting with contractors at the moment to put the finishing touches to our plans, so no more potholes, which I am sure will please us all!

Source: Focus, June 2012

Quiz, Beer Festival and The Diamond Jubilee!

This article was published in February 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

You may wonder about the heading, well let me tell you a little more about the events of 2012.

Firstly on 21st April the Village Hall and Eaton Bray Tennis Club are holding their twice yearly Quiz. This will follow our usual pattern with questions from the undisputed king of question masters, the one and only Keith Blackburn. The price will be £9 and this will include your supper which will be even better than usual, not sure how, but I have been assured that it will!

Following on from that, we will be holding our 9th Annual Beer Festival on Friday 1st June and Saturday 2nd June. We will be having all the usual features plus even more Beers plus Ciders and Perrys. Again this is becoming a part of Village life and we are now into our 9th year. As soon as we finish this one, we will be putting our thinking caps on see what we can do to celebrate the 10th one in 2013.

But what of the Diamond Jubilee? You may have noticed that the Beer Festival is the same weekend as the Jubilee celebrations when the whole country will be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. So we had a chat with Coralie, the vicar, to see what we could do to celebrate this event. Together we have come up with the idea of a traditional children's tea party! We hope that this can held outdoors on the Saturday afternoon (2nd June) with lots of good food and fun and games, including a children's entertainer. If it rains we still have the Hall!

As you may have seen from previous pieces I have written, volunteers are few on the ground but by combining the Village Hall crowd and the Church members together, we can offer a wonderful treat to local children. Coralie will be expanding on this part of the festivities in her own piece elsewhere in Focus.

Should you wish to help make this a special day for the children please feel free to contact either myself, Ross or Coralie.

We will both be keeping you up to date in further issues of Focus. Just put the dates in your diary now!

Source: Focus, February 2012

"Absolutely Brilliant" Beer Festival

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray Beer FestivalThe Eaton Bray Beer Festival attracted its biggest ever crowd last weekend.

The warm weather and sunshine on Friday and Saturday meant more than 560 people turned up to enjoy the eighth running of this annual event.

Live music, good food and of course numerous ales chosen by CAMRA members, plus ciders and a perry were enjoyed during the event, held at the village hall.

Organiser Ross Bagni said: "It was absolutely brilliant. We had a lot more people than last year and I’m sure we sold more beer.

"We started with 25 barrels and ended up with about eight. The aim of the beer festival is to sell everything so we did well.

"The lighter summer beers were most popular because of the heat, but there was very little left."

The money raised by this event will be put towards improving Eaton Bray Village Hall.

The 8th Annual Village Hall Beer Festival

This article was published in May 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2011 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.


Last year we did not run out of beer but, still sold more of it. We sold more burgers and hot dogs, we sold more food from the kitchen, but we sold less lager and wine!

What does this tell us? It means that more of the good people of Eaton Bray and Edlesborough are growing to appreciate the Real Ale, as chosen by our good friends from CAMRA.

Only last week a few of us had to attend a meeting with Roy Chatto and his friends (the beer experts), so over to Dunstable and the Globe pub we went. Obviously we had to have a couple of pints of real ale so we could talk about logos and the possibility of our own Festival glasses! I don't think people realise the efforts we go to in order to make the event a success!!

We will be having live music both nights and a family entertainer on the Saturday afternoon for the younger folk, so do come along and join in the fun.

There will be 25 barrels of beer, 2 types of cider, plus perry (pear cider to the uninitiated; really refreshing if a bit alcoholic).

Whilst writing this article in early April, I notice that we have sold 160 tickets for the quiz on April 30th, which we hold jointly with Eaton Bray Tennis Club. I hope another good night will be had by all. We really appreciate people coming along, as when we decided on the date we had no idea that Prince William and Kate Middleton would be getting married the day before. When the government decided to make this day a public holiday, we wondered, whether a lot of people would go on holiday after Easter and miss the quiz. However, in true local style we are nearly booked out with 4 weeks to go. Thank you all for your support.

Winners of the quiz will be announced next month but, please don't forget the BEER FESTIVAL.

If you need anymore information Please call me (Ross) on 221411.

Source: Focus, May 2011

I hope you haven't missed it!!

This article was published in June 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2010 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.

Beer FestivalThat's the Beer Festival I am talking about. It is on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th June.

I won't go on about it but if you do get to read this after the event I do hope you had a good time. I know I did, although I was made to have a shower before going to bed as the smell of burgers and onions apparently is not acceptable in the bedroom. Not sure why?

Next month I will let you know how we really got on. It is so much easier with the facts, rather than having to anticipate what we did a month ahead of the event. I do hope you are following all this as I am now completely lost!

What I do know is that the Quiz on the 24th April was a great success with “Not Maggie's Friends” (feel sorry for Maggie but that's the way it goes) winning a very close contest and just behind, in their usual place “Mary's Girls” came a very creditable last and collected all the chocolates! Between us the Village Hall and the Eaton Bray Tennis Club shared over £1,100. Once again we must all thank Keith Blackburn for being,without doubt, the best Quiz Master in the Village. So thank you to all that came and we look forward to seeing you all again on the 23rd October. N.B. I have already sold the first 5 tables so please book early.

For some year now we have been running the Village hall 200 Club which started with 200 members and paid out £200 a month in 5 prizes. Over the years the membership has dropped slightly so we are taking away one £25 prize. The odds are still the same and value of prizes is still 50% of the total income so nothing is really changing that much. Thank you all for your support over the years we have between us put in over £10,000 in to helping the renovation of the hall.

For any further information on any of the above, please ring me, Ross, on 221411

Source: Focus, June 2010

Eaton Bray Village Hall Report

This article was published in August 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Firstly as we are getting into the summer holidays and this is the last Focus until October I think I had better mention the Quiz.

This is being held in the Hall with the Tennis Club and tickets will again be just £8.

The date: Saturday October 10th

So please book early to avoid disappointment. We have already sold 4 tables after I was accosted at the Beer Festival by one of our regulars who booked 3 tables on the spot. Thank you John! See, not only are the folk of this village intelligent but they enjoy a good drink now and then.

I am, as usual, asking the editor to put an advert re the Quiz and the first person to ring me with the correct page number will be eligible for two free tickets. So go on and give me a ring, you will only need another 6 to make up a team! Remember if you cannot get up to 8 don't worry as we will make up teams and you get to make some new friends as well.

The hall is getting along fine with only Monday evenings free (most weeks) at the moment, so if you need a meeting place on Mondays then just give Norman Lee a ring, to see if he can help you - 222831. Obviously there are also plenty of various times available for all those special parties and celebrations.

The final figure from the beer festival was nearer to £3,600 so almost a record and it would have been if we had had a few more beers and the weather had been kinder.

Thanks you all for your continued support.

For any further information please ring Ross Bagni 221411.

Source: Focus, August/September 2009

Gird your loins!!

This article was published in June 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Yes as I said last time we re getting ready for the 6th Eaton Bray Beer Festival, assuming you have read Focus early, this will be a great reminder of the event that takes place on Friday 5th June, 6-11pm and Saturday 6th June 12am-11pm.

We will have 16 beers and 2 ciders provided by our good friends from CAMRA plus the wine and lager for those who do not do the Real Ale! Obviously we will be doing lots of soft drinks for those that don't imbibe or are driving.

There is also entertainment each evening and a children's magician on Saturday afternoon.

For full details take a look at, take a look at the Village Hall Events page.

You may remember me writing about the successful quiz we held on the 18th April before we had actually had it! This may seem strange but what with deadlines one just cannot avoid it!

We made over £1100 which was shared by the Village Hall and Tennis Club with 168 people testing their knowledge against Keith's, our trusted Quiz Master, he came first, but then he did have the answers written down, but a gallant team led by Bernie, the current Chair of the Tennis Club were announced the winners by just one point!

Thank you all for coming and thought you might like to know that we have already sold the first table for the next quiz on October 10th!

See you at the BBQ!

Source: Focus, June 2009

Beer Festival sets new records!

This article was published in July 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Again, at the 5th Eaton Bray Beer Festival we saw record numbers turn up over Friday 6th and Saturday 7th June.

As usual, when we met on the Tuesday before the event the weather forecast was horrible. Have we got too many burgers, potatoes, beers, ciders, perry? And I, the panicking old GI, was the most worried of all, but wait, on Friday it got worse, poor Norman dropped something on his shin and had to excuse himself to go to the A & E for a bit of bandaging. Luckily apart from having to miss the event he is now fine. So we all juggled our duties and got going.

Saturday it looked dull until about 1pm when the sun came out as did a lot of people, families, serious beer drinkers and a lot of keen amateurs, Fancy trying to drink all 17 ales on offer!

When we dragged ourselves away at midnight on Saturday, 464 people had passed through the door and drunk all the beer, cider and perry, which our gallant CAMRA friends had supplied for the event, Over 280 burgers had disappeared into people's mouths, along with 125 sausages and numerous baked potatoes (they never count theirs precisely like us BBQ'ers).

A special thanks to Neil Hines who gallantly gave up half an hours drinking time to help us get some more burgers from their shop. A life saver to some hungry drinkers!

The exact result will not be known for a few days, but will exceed last years £3,400. This will be going to Phase 3 which starts on August 4th so we will soon have a new kitchen (can we get a permanent BBQ in there Mr. Chairman?) a disabled toilet and a lovely meeting room. Where will we put the rubbish next year?

Having cleared the hall out on Sunday morning I spent a very pleasant hour on Sunday afternoon helping my neighbour by sitting on the gate at the Open Gardens event. I enjoyed all the praise about "my" beautiful garden. It was very difficult to admit that I was only the neighbour and had nothing to do with its beauty except to always feel guilty when they are lovingly tending their garden whilst I sit and read a book next door.

We are not stopping with Phase 3 as there is still plenty to do at the Hall, Our next event is the Quiz, Saturday 11th October, jointly with Tennis Club. We then get together again on November the 22nd for a spectacular Race Night. This should be a nice change.

We also run a 200 Club. This involves a max of 200 people paying £2 each month and every month there is a first prize of £100 followed by 4 prices of £25 each. That is a 1:40 chance of winning. A lot better than the lottery. Do give it a go. Contact me, Ross.

Source: Focus, July 2008

Eaton Bray 5th Annual Beer festival

This article was published in May 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2008 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.

Beer FestivalEaton Bray Hall Friday 6th June and Saturday 7th June 2008

As usual I am trying to think of a snazzy way to start this piece and as usual (as those of you who read my pieces will have noticed) I am failing miserably. So I thought I would start with some basic facts.

The Location: Eaton Bray Village Hall

The Beer: 16 Real ales plus cider & perry

The Dates: Friday 6th June 6pm till 11pm, Saturday 7th June 12 noon till 11pm

The Food: BBQ (the best as run by me!) plus baked potatoes and assorted fillings. And all the other usual bits!

The Entertainment: Friday evening Jerome Chance, Saturday afternoon Children's magician, Saturday evening Bob Thompson

Other Drinks For those of you who do not like Real Ale or are either too young or driving we will have a selection of lagers, wines and soft drinks.

All in all this should make for an excellent couple of days. We do hope you will join us and remember we are delighted for families to come and join in the fun as the bar is in a separate area.

All monies raised from the event are going to the continuing refurbishment of the hall.

The quiz, which by the time you are reading this, will have happened was sold out by the first week of April with a waiting list. So we are sorry to any disappointed villagers.

I have promised to give those people first dibs for our next Quiz on Saturday 11th October. The rest of you don't say you haven't been warned.

See you at the Beer Festival. Any further enquires please contact Ross on 221411.

Source: Focus, May 2008

Eaton Bray Village Hall 4th Annual Beer Festival

This article was published in July 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

I'll be honest this is going to be a very quick report as this sad old git (G I), went on holiday for 10 days immediately after the beer festival so I have got to write this very quickly or the honourable editor will not let me get it into print (if you see this then you know, as I do, that she is a very kind person).

The weather was just as good as last year and even though we did get more beer, burgers, sausages, potatoes, fillings and other alcoholic drinks along with the soft drinks we had almost sold out of everything by late Saturday and that was after a slightly quieter Friday (we think due to England v Brazil football match).

On Saturday the weather blessed us again and by early afternoon lots of families had turned up to watch the magician and then stayed in party mood 'til late into the evening.

Our biggest thanks must be to those who turned up to enjoy the Festival, but the sacrifices the CAMRA volunteers made just to make sure that every pint was up to their usual high standard were well beyond the call of duty. They did so much tasting that they had to get a taxi home each night!

Again it is the G I volunteers who also make it possible and our thanks to all of them.

With all that effort how could we fail? The final profit is in excess of £3,400. All this will be going into the work to be carried out on the toilets in the very near future.

Thank you all for your support again. We will definitely start planning the 5th Beer Festival which will take place on the first weekend of June 2008. Don't forget!

To more immediate things, our next event is a joint quiz with the Tennis Club which is to be held in the hall on Friday 5th October. We sold out last time so please book your places early. More details from Ross.

P.S. Where did I go on holiday? This is really sad but I loved it. I rode 1,600 miles around the UK on my motorbike visiting friends and family and enjoyed it tremendously. Makes coming back and writing this all worthwhile.

Source: Focus, July 2007

Old & Young GIs Unite to Take First Prize at Largest Ever Quiz!

This article was published in June 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

On Friday 29th April the Village hall was throbbing, with 173 eager minds just waiting for the off. Keith Blackburn (the greatest living quiz master in Eaton Bray) took the microphone and we were away. What a night, with difficult questions great banter, as exceptionally talented teams fought it out to become the champions.

In the middle of all this we had a lovely supper and I didn't win one of the fabulous prizes in the raffle. Still you can't have everything, can you?

Into the final round and 5 teams at the top could all win the title. "Art's Cool" led "The Team with No Name" by just half a point. After the last round with all the contestants waiting with baited breath while Keith in classic style announced the results in reverse last the final result: The Team with No Name were winners by half a point!

Well would you believe who was in the winning team? Yes the old and young GI's united in their brilliance (well actually it was two of our guests who answered 90% of the questions) but we will happily take the glory. Perhaps even happier was the Mary French team who had a great evening and went away with a large carton of Celebration for being the best non winners. Congratulations ladies.

The real winners, The Village Hall and the Tennis club, who will split the £1,483 profit between them. Our thanks go out to all the villagers and guests who come along and make the organisers life so easy.

A special thanks to Keith who gives up a lot of time to make these quizzes so special.

And so onwards, towards our 4th Annual Beer Festival on Friday evening 1st June and all day Saturday 2nd June, with the beers chosen and served by volunteers from CAMRA. We will be having 14 beers, 2 ciders and a Perry, not to mention lager, wine and soft drinks for non real-ale types. We will also have entertainment on both evenings plus a magician for the whole family on Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you all there.

Again thank you all for your support for the quiz and as I had to turn 3 people away on the morning of the quiz book early for our next one, Friday 5th October Eaton Bray Village Hall.

Source: Focus, June 2007

Real ales, magic and dancing at festival

This article was published in May 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The Eaton Bray Hall Fund-raising Committee and volunteers from CAMRA are joining forces to stage the village's fourth annual beer festival.

The event will be held in Eaton Bray Village Hall on Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2.

The two groups aim to raise money for the refurbishment of the hall.

The festival will run from 6pm to 11pm on Friday evening and from 12 noon to 11pm on Saturday. Visitors can sample 16 real ales, two ciders and two perrys, all organised by volunteers from the Campaign for Real Ale.

The non purists can get lager, wine and soft drinks from the hall committee volunteers, who will also run a barbecue and baked potato stalls.

Live entertainment on Friday evening will be supplied by Bob Thomson. There is a special magic show for children on Saturday afternoon and Paul Green (Greenie) will be there on Saturday evening to help everyone dance the night away.

Proceeds from the event will help to revamp the toilets and to bring the hall into the 21st century.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 29 May 2007

4th Annual Beer Festival - June 1st and 2nd 2007

This article was published in May 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2007 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.

Friday 1st June: 6pm to 11pm
Friday night: Live entertainment - Bob Thomson

Saturday 2nd June: 12noon to 11pm
Saturday afternoon: Family Magic Show
Saturday night: Live entertainment - Greenie (Paul Green)

16 Real Ales + 2 ciders and 2 perrys
Soft drinks, bottled lager and wine available.

Hot food and BBQ available
Lunchtime and evenings

Entrance £3 on the day
Half price to CAMRA members at all times

This annual event now in its fourth year will have over a dozen real ales plus Cider, Perry and various lagers and wines for non Ale drinkers.

Food and entertainment on both days will add to the atmosphere along with Saturday afternoon when we will have a children's magician so all the family can have a great time.

Source: Eaton Bray Village Hall

Beer Glorious Beer!

This article was published in May 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Yes it is getting towards that time again when the GI's get together with some very enthusiastic friends from the wonderful society that just loves real ale and stage our

4th Annual Beer Festival,
on Friday lst June and Saturday 2nd June,
in The Village Hall.

Last year you may remember we were blessed with wonderful weather which caused me "King of the BBQ" to completely out sell the baked potato merchants (much to the disgust of a certain younger GI). Well, we can't guarantee the weather but we can guarantee you will get the best beer and food in Bedfordshire for the two days.

On the Friday and Saturday nights we have live music and on Saturday afternoon we have a magician for the children so come along and make it a family day out. (does that sound like Alton towers?)

The GI's really love to do this event as we often get asked by our beer friends to check if the beer is OK before it goes on sale. I don't know a lot about beer ("pardon" do I hear you say) so I have to try quite a lot just to check all is fine before we let the you good folk in to buy some. So if the BBQ is on the slant please don't blame me, it is merely your own consumption causing this optical illusion.

More information available from the Village Hall Events page.

Source: Focus, May 2007

Beer Festival June 2nd/3rd 2006

This article was published in July 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Yes the sun shone through Friday evening and all day Saturday, the beer flowed right up to 11pm on Saturday. JUST!

What more could we all ask for? The 3rd Eaton Bray Beer festival was held in glorious weather over the weekend.

Friday was by far the busiest night, we think, because of people were worried that we might run out of beer again, as we did last year. Yes, it was a close call with only 3 barrels holding the (real) amber liquor at the end. We even started off with 2 extra barrels and had to go out for emergency rations on Saturday morning! Next year we will get even more beer. A big thanks to Roy Chatto and his (very) merry band of helpers who unstintingly tried all the beers to make sure you all got the perfect pint!

The food was organised by GI’s (Gallant Idiots) and it has to be said that the BBQ burgers (from Hines, thanks for your contribution) went down a storm. The baked tatties weren’t quite so popular as last year but then look at the difference in weather (about 10 degrees). I could argue, as head chef of "Bagni's Burgers" that it was down to my superb cooking but that would be stretching it!

Music was supplied by Bob Thompson on Friday and Paul Green (Greenie) on Saturday, who both did great sets, along with our very own magician David Andrew who entertained the young and young at heart on Saturday afternoon.

We would also like to say a BIG thank you to all the volunteers who gave their valuable time to help run the event and to all the local and not so local folk who came and supported the event. We hope you all had a wonderful time and not too many headaches the next day!

We made nearly £3,000! This is all going to help with stage two of the Village Hall refurbishment. Hopefully this may be able to start next year!

Our next event is a Quiz Night on October 6th in the Village Hall, This will be held in conjunction with Eaton Bray Tennis Club. Look out for further info in Focus.

Thanks again.

Source: Focus, July 2006

Lots to try at festival

This article was published in May 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Eaton Bray's third Beer Festival will take place on Friday June 2 and Saturday 3 in the village hall.

This very popular beer festival promises to be even bigger and better than previous years, with more than a dozen fine ales plus perry and cider have been chosen by the friendly volunteers from CAMRA. All drinks are available from 6pm on Friday and from 12 noon on Saturday.

For those of you accompanying the aficionados there will be plenty on offer including lager, wine and a good selection of soft drinks. There will be a variety of food available too, including jacket potatoes and a barbecue featuring burgers from Hines the Butchers of Eaton Bray.

From 8pm there will be music to dance and drink to: Friday is Bob Thompson and Saturday stars Paul Greenie, ex lead guitar with Suzie Q.

Saturday afternoon is family time with a magician for the young and young at heart at 2pm.

The event is being organised by Eaton Bray Village Hall Trustees to help finance stage two of the hall's redevelopment. This group has raised over £25,000 in under three years.

For more information contact Ross Bagni.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 30 May 2006

Camra Beer Festival

This article was published in April 2006. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Note: This article describes the 2006 event.
For details of this year's Beer Festival, please see Village Hall Events.

2nd - 4th June 2006

This event raises a lot of money for Eaton Bray Village Hall.

The trustees would be delighted if you could spare some time of the weekend to help run it. Please see Sally Taylor if you can help.