Milton Keynes and North Bucks Campaign for Real Ale

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C O N C R E T E   P I N T
2 0 1 6
2 3 rd   M i l t o n   K e y n e s   B e e r   &   C i d e r   F e s t i v a l
19th to 22nd October, The Old Bus Station, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 1LR.
Milton Keynes and North Bucks Campaign for Real Ale

Final day of #ConcretePint2016

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Live music, sponsored by
Biergarten, Wolverton

Sat 22nd of October is the final day of the 2016 Concrete Pint Beer & Cider Festival. Doors are open from noon through to 23:00. There is plenty of great beer and cider left to try and today it's FREE entry to everyone. What better opportunity will you have to come and taste a few new beers and experience what CAMRA festivals have to offer?

2120s logo

This evening we have live music from around 20:00 from the fab blues/soul band the 2120s. The Milton Keynes based six-piece take their name from the address of Chess Studios in Chicago – you check them out on SoundCloud. We must thank the Biergarten in Wolverton for sponsoring the live music stage at the festival, enabling the 2120s (and Thursday's band TC3) to play.

Bad news for tombola fans, as all the prizes have now gone, so Anne and Fred's work is done for this year's festival. We still have Lyn looking after the bar skittles and shut-the-box games though, which only cost a few pence to play and could win you a half.

Our supply of Salty Dog snacks have been destroyed by hungry festival goers, so we're now have an emergency supply of alternatives. Good Times Cafe have refreshed their menu and Urban Grilla's BBQ stall has made way for Saf's Kitchen to provide some exciting Indian food for our final day.

As we wave goodbye to the festival for another year, remember to take it easy and get home safely. Our good friends Skyline Taxis will be happy to arrange your transport and were again generous in sponsoring our promotional beer mats. Take one home with you, their number is on the back: 01908 222 111, £3 minimum fare for the first 1.5 miles.

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 October 2016 12:44

Countdown to #ConcretePint2016: We are open!

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Volunteers’ tee shirts, sponsored by
Leighton Buzzard Brewing Co.
Festival tees

Today's the day folks. At 16:00 sharp the doors of the Old Bus Station will be opened to the public and the 23rd Concrete Pint Beer & Cider Festival will be underway. Come on down, the beer and cider is ready and waiting for you to enjoy. We're open until 23:00, so perfect for a post-work pint or a midweek night out.

Inside the venue
Last minute preparations.

First pint served
Chairman serves the first pint.

So let's recap. You arrive clutching a crisp £10 note and we exchange it for a programme / beer list, a festival glass and a bunch of beer tokens to get you started. You head into the bar and either spend a few minutes picking a beer, cider or perry from the list, or just jump in with something random. You enjoy it and have a few more. When hunger strikes, our selection of bar snacks is waiting for you, or you nip outside to one of our street food traders for something more filling. You engage in conversation with the other beer and cider enthusiasts in the room (traditional wooden casks vs. modern key-keg will be a lively topic), have a go on the tombola, and try to win at shut-the-box or bar skittles. When it's time to leave, you cash in your spare beer tokens (or maybe give some to our festival charities) and choose between a glass hire refund or keeping your festival glass. Easy! See you again tomorrow?

Should any of the above give you problems, or you need a bit of advice about what drink to try, we have a team of friendly volunteers on hand to assist you. This year they are all kitted out in new pale blue festival tee shirts, kindly sponsored by Leighton Buzzard Brewing Co. – cheers Jon, they look great!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 15:41

Countdown to #ConcretePint2016: One day to go

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The stillage

The Concrete Pint is almost upon us. Today's tasks at the festival set-up are venting, racking and tapping the beers, ready for the stillage. This year we extend our thanks to our main festival sponsors, Barworx of Bletchley, for providing and installing our stillage, cask cooling system and the 'craft beer wall'. Not only has this taken a huge load off our volunteer staff, it's also ensured a safe and smart installation that we could not have achieved on our own. Cheers Barworx!

Tapping a wooden cask
Beer Moos editor taps some wood.

We have some more beer news for you too. Leighton Buzzard Brewing Co. have provided us with two more beers in Wooden casks to go along with the two from XT Brewing. Wood is the traditional material for making casks and can enhance beer by adding flavours from the wood itself. We have also added some gluten free beers to our range from Nene Valley in the form of a refreshing grapefruit saison and a smooth oat stout. We also have a small branch favourites bar, featuring the likes of Evan Evans, Urban Huntsman and Oakham, the latter returning with last year's Concrete Pint Beer of the Festival, Green Devil IPA!

We'll be refreshing the beer and cider lists over night to ensure everything is listed. One more sleep folks!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October 2016 19:10

Countdown to #ConcretePint2016: Two days to go

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Key-keg bar, sponsored by
The Draft House MK

Mon 17th of October 2016 is a big day for the MK beer scene. Not only is it the first day of set-up for the Concrete Pint Beer & Cider Festival, it's also the first day of public opening for new Central MK bar, the Draft House on Midsummer Boulevard. It marks the company's first venture outside of the bright lights of London to the warmer glow of Milton Keynes. At Draft House they focus on 'craft' beer and good food to compliment it. They will also be bringing 'tank beer' to MK, with Pilsner Urquell being delivered directly from Plzen in the Czech Republic to a large tank in the pub. Check them out of Facebook and Twitter.

Beer delivery photo
Beer here: Key-kegs arrive.

The Draft House have kindly sponsored the festival's key-keg bar, our first venture into the murky world of real 'craft' beer. Yes folks, we're going to have a 'craft beer wall' dispensing cold, slightly fizzy, sometimes cloudy, often excessively hopped and occasionally extreme beers. But, we're going to keep it real. CAMRA have decided that as long as the beer is alive and undergoing secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, it can be classed as real ale providing the gas used for dispense doesn't come into contact with the beer. That's where key-kegs are different to ordinary kegs, as the beer inside them is protected from the applied gas by a polymer membrane. This form of dispense is not without controversy as it alters the conditions under which secondary fermentation takes place, but we have plenty of traditional cask conditioned beer available if you don't want to dabble.

Fierce BeerWild Beer Co.

As key-keg beers don't go off as quickly as traditional cask beers, brewers can experiment with extreme beer styles that most pubs would not be able to sell quickly enough in cask form. We've chosen our key-keg beers to try an represent the diversity currently available across the UK. Brew By Numbers will supply a saison, Fierce offer an oatmeal pale infused with tart raspberries, Wild Beer Co. bring a zingy gooseberry sour beer and Elusive give us a big hitting American red ale. We also have a mild overloaded with vanilla pods from Twisted Barrel at just 3.5%, while Fyne Ales go to the opposite extreme with a 9.5% imperial stout brewed in collaboration with Dutch brewer De Molen. Sadly we won't be able to offer all of these beers at all sessions, but that does improve your chances of finding some to try on Saturday night.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 October 2016 18:17
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