The 12th real ale festival at Cove Burgh Hall was a sellout success, breaking all records.
An amazing total of 1,220 pints of ales in 17 casks (two more than last year) were all sold out by 6.45pm – as well as all bottled beers held in reserve and four cartons of scrumpy and cider.
Once again the festival closed early, and organisers offer apologies to all those who turned up later in the day and were disappointed.
And although the money is still being counted, it is thought that a total of around £3,700 was raised for the Cove Burgh Hall restoration fund, which is run entirely by volunteers from the local community – an increase of around £800 on the previous year, another record.
Saturday’s event again took place in glorious weather, with visitors arriving on foot, by bus and by ferry – the boat from Gourock carried nearly 100 passengers more than usual.
The crew of a yacht also moored off the hall and rowed ashore to sample the ales.
“Maybe this year this had been ordered by Richard Coates the founder of the festival who sadly died earlier in the year and is much missed by those who knew and loved him,” said Andy Gill, one of the organisers.
“The theme of the festival was the Drayman’s Travels, in memory of Richard and the beers all came from areas that he loved most such as Wales, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and of course his beloved Scotland.”
Music was provided by Crowded Croft, renowned Scottish folk musicians from Helensburgh, and Harmonica Lewinsky who again had the punters dancing and shaking to their great brand of blues music.
Also sold out was the food made by a band of local helpers who were rushed off their feet all day serving supplies of curry and chilli to the hungry revellers.
Andy added: “Special thanks to Lomond Brewery who had brewed a special cask of ale called Drayman’s Travels, a stout tasting of chocolate and chilli.
“Maybe you would think not everyone’s cup of tea so to speak, but went down amazingly well with most folk and was the first cask to be emptied. Fiona take note, you will have to make this a regular!
“Also huge thanks to Raymond Grieve for supplying the gantry, and Ensign Motifs for supplying the T-shirts, both free of charge.
“Thanks to all the helpers on the day behind the bar and in the kitchen, who did a fantastic stint. Although we were all worn out at the end everyone loved it, and can’t wait for next year.”
For the second year there was a Facebook page which now has 320 friends, many of whom turned up on the day.
Ale and food sponsors are also important to the success of the festival and the organisers would like to thank all those mentioned below for financially supporting them again this year:
- A M Hier Landscaping
- Cathcart Consulting
- Cove & Kilcreggan Community Council
- Ensign Motifs
- James Auld Funeral Directors
- Kilcreggan Cafe
- Kilcreggan Garage
- Kilcreggan Hotel
- La Barca
- Let’s Promote UK
- Loch Lomond Brewery
- Polly’s Pantry and Eastergarth Guest House
- Raymond Grieve Builders
- The Riverbank