Cheltenham Real Ale Festival 2019

CRAF 2019 returned, once again, to the magnificent surroundings of the Princess Hall at Cheltenham Ladies’ College on 1st-2nd November.


The festival organising committee would like to thank all those who volunteered for this festival. Your help was very much appreciated. There will be a wash-up meeting on Tuesday 19th November, starting at 7:30pm in the Sandford Park Alehouse. We’d be delighted to see you all again and hear your festival feedback. If you can’t make it, you can forward your observations to the Staffing Officer. There will be a post event get together in the new year.


We’d like to thank our glass sponsors, Bath Road Beers and the Sandford Park Alehouse and our stillage suppliers, Severn Brewing. If you’d like to discuss sponsoring opportunities for next year, then please send an email to


With 80 ales to choose from, we hope that we catered for all tastes including an extended range of Vegan beers. Please let us know what you thought of the selection.


We had 27 ciders and perries on offer. Again, your feedback on the range of ciders and perries would be appreciated.


This year’s branch charity is the Midlands Air Ambulance (MAA) and we’re delighted to say your generous donations raised over £300 for them. Thank you. Further information on the work of the MAA, can be found on their website HERE.


We’d like to thank the groups who provided the festival entertainment:

On Friday, we had The B-Flats, a ukulele band. Their passion is music, and their outlet is the ukulele, one of the smallest, and yet most versatile of stringed instruments. They are well supported by bass, a breeding brace of banjoleles, multiple kazoos, and the odd percussion piece. This, coupled with a range of voices, enables them to perform an eclectic mix of music from the popular decades, and any performance usually comes complete with a few surprises.

On Saturday afternoon, we had Swing From Paris. They brought you the sounds of a chic Parisian café and the French jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Expect music by Edith Piaf, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and more – stylish gypsy jazz and vintage swing, with violin, guitars and double bass.

In the evening, we had Union of Strings. Chris Ongers and David Lloyd are an acoustic blues duo, offering a refined blend of guitar wizardry, folk, contemporary and blues, showcasing their own unique take on artists such as James Taylor and John Martyn to The Foo Fighters and The Stereophonics.


Thanks to Matt at Jolly Good Design for this year’s logo.