Huge blow for ale fans as Hucknall Beer Festival is cancelled

Organisers have announced this month’s planned Hucknall Beer Festival has been cancelled.

Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 12:49 pm

Covid concerns meant the festival was moved from its usual February slot to July for this year.

But with just a couple of weeks to go, organisers have now pulled the plug after Nottingham CAMRA said the fluctuating July temperatures meant they were unable to guarantee the quality of the beer.

In a statement on the festival Facebook page, organisers said: “With great sadness we advise that the rescheduled 2022 Hucknall Beer Festival will not go ahead in July as planned.

Hucknall Beer Festival has been cancelled

“Nottingham CAMRA have expressed concerns that, looking at recent temperatures, and with the uncertainty of July, they feel they can’t guarantee the quality of the beer in the way they had planned for.

“And upon investigations of costs for the cellar cooling equipment required to support this, the festival has become financially unviable.

The loss of the festival is not only a huge blow to local ale fans but also to the John Godber Centre – where it is staged – as it is one of their big fundraisers for the year.

Kim Pears, centre manager, said: “It is a huge blow but as a charity we do have to accept defeat and agree with Nottingham CAMRA.

"It’s the responsible decision but we’re still gutted not to be able to host one of our biggest fundraisers in 2022.

"But we’re now ahead with planning for the 2023 festival which will be back (for sure) Valentine’s weekend 2023, bigger and better.”

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The festival was already facing escalating costs, a reduction in sponsorship and a level of uncertainty about the support for a summer festival (both by changing to July and rises in the cost of living) to consider.

And the concerns over the actual beer itself – and the extra costs that would have been incurred to solve the problem – convinced organisers to cancel the event.

Andrew Ludlow, secretary of Nottingham CAMRA and himself a Hucknall man, said: “It’s so unfortunate, it’s been a bit of a disaster all round.

"It was perhaps a bit of misjudgement on our part.

"We got so carried away with the determination to run a festival and for the last 20 years, we’ve done it in February, this year we were going to try and do it in July.

"And late on, we suddenly had this worry about temperature control and we checked the hall it became apparent and obvious that the only way you could run a beer festival was with a sophisticated cooling system.

"Pubs have the luxury of cellars but for us, going into the market to get the equipment we needed would have cost in excess of £2,000.

“We’re trying to raise money for charity – the John Godber Centre – and we’d have had very little left for them if we’d gone ahead and it seemed wrong to do that.

"It was embarrassing having to contact all the brewers to tell them, particularly the new ones we had, but they all understood.

"One actually emailed back to me and said not only did they understand but that if we’d gone ahead and the beer had been bad, it would have reflected badly on them as brewers.”

"The good news is that all the brewers we contacted have said ‘please, please ask us back for next February’.

“So the when the festival returns in 2023, should be a really special one.”