Real Ale Rapture

The Tab tipples in 34th ale festival

festival real ale real ale festival students warwick real ale

Every year the Warwick Real Ale Society hosts the largest student run beer festival throughout the country, in the SU Copper Rooms. The event lasts for 3 days and offers up to 120 beers, real ciders,  fruit wines, mead and a performance by Dr. Busker, a nice alternative to the usual Koppaberg and 3 for £10 wine from Spar.

Lads in the Rouge room, only for the Turbo Purple of course…

One would normally expect a heavily intoxicated crowd but when I went on the opening night (yes on Valentine’s Day), I was more than surprised by the atmosphere. The crowd was cross-generational with lots of international students and everyone seemed genuinely interested in trying England’s somewhat overlooked traditional beverage – ale.

Lederhosen. Tradition, ja?


The main room had several ale stands in alphabetical order and the Rouge room served wines such as Gales, ciders and mead. Whether you wanted dark or light ale, a sprit-zy raspberry twist, turbo purple or a pie to soak up all the free samples you got throughout the night, the Real Ale Festival had enough to offer to match everyone’s taste.


Empty cups waiting to be filled…

One of the volunteers, Ed Jolley, described working at the festival as:
“I love seeing such an eclectic mix of people under one roof for a shared love of ale, cider and wine! I can’t think of another place where you see balding old men chatting to unashamed hipsters.”

Pie anyone?

Jolley, marking off tokens

Whilst the staff are not paid, they sure get to max out the benefits of being part of the festival: a pre-festival ‘tasting’ evening, a free real ale rugby shirt and after work celebrations. Jolley further added:
‘If anyone has preconceived ideas about ale, the culture surrounding it or the festival itself, they should get their arses down to an ale festival.’

Needless to say, the Real Ale Society do an incredible job organising this event year after year, creating a unique mood and experience for everyone involved that no Warwick student should miss out on.

Throw aside your preconceptions and join the real ale persuasion, it’s a life choice you’ll never regret!

Tipsy Tab… Success!