Monday, 12 December 2011

Sorted. Now Roll Up


I attended my last National Winter Ales Organising Committee Meeting on Saturday. Last this festival I mean. Almost everything is arranged. Last minute snags were identified and decisions were made and we are good to go - though of course there will be more last minute hitches and more decisions needed. I spent quite a lot of time last week doing a tortuous risk assessment for Greater Manchester Police and updating our internal stuff. Others have sweated over beer orders, cider orders, what we need from HQ stores, what we have to buy locally, how we will steward the event, advertise it, get sponsorship, print tickets, discuss and agree food availability, order glasses, design signs, design the programme, order transport for goods and staff, sign up staff to work, arrange duties and a million other less obvious things. It is a giant jigsaw that has to come together by the trade session on Wednesday 18th January. With Christmas and New Year, it doesn't leave a lot of time and plenty of us will be dedicating some of that holiday time to ensuring there are no last minute problems. I for instance will be pulling some stuff together for some of the legal requirements that we have to follow, but then forgetting about it for a week or two. Hopefully.

Those of you that are interested in the beer list can find it here, with foreign beers here and real ale in a bottle here.  As always, genuine beer bloggers are considered as trade, so if you'd like trade session tickets and are a blogger, please let me know and I will arrange for them to be sent to you.

This really is a cracking festival with a great choice of beer, a friendly outlook and of course it is held in Manchester, one of the finest beer cities in the UK.  What's stopping you? See you there then.


National Winter Ales Festival: The Sheridan Suite, Oldham Rd, Manchester from 18th to 21st January 2012

23 comments:

StringersBeer said...

Nice to see the sponsors' beers featuring so prominently on the list.

Tandleman said...

I know. It'll be a bugger choking down beers from Marble, Acorn, Hawkshead, White Shield, Red Willow, Liverpool Organic, Thorbridge and the like. I'm dreading it.

Steve Lamond said...

Sounds like a right chore, how will you cope? ;)

StringersBeer said...

That's great.

I'm sure NWAF will be as good as ever.

Erlangernick said...

"Winter" means it'll all be dark and malty. Pass.

RedNev said...

I'll be there - not sure when yet. Not all the beers are dark and malty, Erlangernick.

HardKnott Dave said...

Stringers, neither your nor my beers are on the list I note.

Never mind, we'll have some at the SIBA Keg festival instead.

Tandleman said...

As a personal position can I say I am saddened by these omissions, but equally the beer orderer is on a hiding to nothing whatever he does.

Erlangernick said...

Rednev. Yes, yes, I'm sure it's not *all* dark. Looking at the list, I see Ilkley Mary Jane...winner!

And draught Dupont Bons Voeux!!! Bet that'll be a bit dear.

HardKnott Dave said...

It must be a tricky one to get right, that's for sure.

But I agree, there are often lots of nice and strong hoppy things if that is your preference. I'll be looking for a bit of both myself.

Rockingham Forest Cider said...

Rather feeble excuse for not putting the cider and perry list on the website. I know it's difficult to get an accurate list up when dealing with wholesalers, but plenty of other festivals seem to manage it.

geordiemanc said...

I suspect the bit at the bottom of the cider section is just a filler that really means "cider orderer is a little bit behind with supplying a list".
Fairly sure the cider list went up on the website last year.

Tandleman said...

I'd watch that space.

Phil said...

genuine beer bloggers are considered as trade

You're kidding! That's an offer I would find it decidedly hard to refuse.

StringersBeer said...

Don't worry @Dave, we've never had (and never will have) anything on at NWAF, it's a running joke with us now.

Tandleman said...

Phil. Why would they not be?

Stringers. If I ever become beer orderer, you'll be first on my list (I love your beers) but I have no influence in my current role.

I'll get Dave's beers too. But it ain't me and I doubt if you are both hated. Just the way the cookie crumbles.

StringersBeer said...

It's not about me. Or Dave. It's about having too many beers on from a few producers, matching up (rather neatly and sadly) with the sponsors list. Which must limit the space available for selections from smaller brewers. I'm not saying it's evil. I am saying it looks like the tail wagging the dog. It's a perception thing.

Tandleman said...

Stringers: That's it you are off my list! No seriously. You make a very valid point which I'll bring up at the wash up meeting. It is a difficult balancing act between sponsors and non sponsors, as without sponsorship, we would maybe suffer a loss.

But we do have small sponsors too as can be seen from my earlier point. They don't pay much, but it gives them an in.

I'll bring it up as I said as it is pertinent.

Tandleman said...

Not counting foreign or bottled, I make it 114 breweries, with beers from 34 sponsors.

Is that way out of kilter? Views?

StringersBeer said...

Sure, if you do it by brewery, that's about 30% sponsors. If you count beers it's more like 40% sponsors. It looks like the small number of (sponsoring) breweries are disproportionately represented. Whether or not one believes they should be on the list at all. Again, it's not so much what's in, but what has to be left out.

Obviously, if we decide to have a bunch of beers from a great brewery, that's who we're going to pester for sponsorship. Equally, we won't be asking for support from a brewery that we're not taking beer from.

But how do we make it clear that the pressure to cover costs up front isn't distorting the selection process? Not so much which breweries (although...), but how much racking gets devoted to their beers.

How do we make sure it looks clean?

StringersBeer said...

P.S.
"They don't pay much, but it gives them an in. " I'm sure you weren't suggesting that breweries can actually "buy on"?

Tandleman said...

I can't say how it works, as I simply don't know. AS Deputy Organiser, I just know it is a balancing act to make things work, as a lot of sponsorship is in beer.But I can bring your observations up and I will.

StringersBeer said...

Jolly good. If I can find a disguise, I might even attend.