World’s First Virtual Real Ale festival – The ‘Armchair Beer Festival’

INDEPENDENT brewery Pitchfork Ales, based in Somerset, is set to score a world first next month when they host the very first cask ale virtual beer festival to start the early May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

The ‘Armchair Beer Festival’ has been created out of the need for a countrywide lockdown seeing events cancelled and pubs closed, whilst threatening the very survival of such independent breweries.

Pitchfork Ales though are fighting back and beginning to unite beer lovers across the country with their innovative approach to tackling how to get high quality real ale direct to a consumer, during the restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Traditional beer festivals are predominantly cask ale, they allow the visitor to sample whichever beers they wish, be entertained by some great music and enjoy the company of other beer lovers.” said Dave Turner, Director of Pitchfork Ales.

“We saw numerous beer festivals being cancelled and wondered what we could do replicate that experience online, so we’ve done just that, but also supporting our incredible NHS by donating 20p from every pint sold to them.

By visiting the website, beer lovers get to choose the drinks they wish to sample during the festival out of a varied range of fifteen beers and three ciders. These will be then carefully packaged along with a commemorative Armchair Beer Festival glass and dispatched by a specialist liquid carrying courier to the beer lovers home address in time for the festival on Bank Holiday Friday.

The fresh cask ales and ciders are available for specialist overnight delivery anywhere within England, Wales and Scotland. With direct ordering and secure payment online, the cut off for deliveries is Monday May 4 at 12 noon.

Pitchfork Ales are also offering a drive through collection service from their brewery facilities in Hewish, near Weston-super-Mare if people are passing during essential travel and wish to collect their drinks in a safe way. The cut off for ordering for collection is Wednesday May 6 at 12 noon.

“On the day of the festival, May 8 at 7pm, the exclusive live stream will run for three hours broadcasting three live music acts and offering beer related chats with the Pitchfork Ales brewer and award winning beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones.”

Dave went on to say, “Predominantly, it’s our local area where beer lovers get to sample our brews, but already we’re seeing orders come in for the beer festival from Southampton to Glasgow. The unique aspect of being able to ship freshly tapped cask ale anywhere in the country direct to the consumers’ door is a real pull”.

More information can be found on the dedicated festival website for the ‘Armchair Beer Festival’ at: www.armchairbeerfest.com and anyone purchasing drinks will be sent the secret code for the live stream and also a range of free merchandise and discount vouchers, subject to their order amount.