Councillors to debate beer festival enquiry

Beer festival

Bradley Stoke Town Councillors are to decide at a meeting on Wednesday whether a private company should be permitted to stage a beer festival at one of the Council’s three activity centres.

Brizzle Beer Festivals, a company based in Bradley Stoke that organises “community” beer festivals in the Bristol area, has asked to use one of the centres and is promising to donate a proportion of takings/profits to charity.

Council officers have referred the request to Councillors because “it does not fall within the normal type of hire”.

The Brook Way Activity Centre, recently refurbished after the Council withdrew funding for the resident youth club, is identified as the most appropriate venue for the event, due to its capacity and ability to accommodate the hog roast that seems to be a regular feature of the applicant’s festivals.

The venue would be available from 8am to 11pm, “due to the proximity of nearby households”.

The festival organisers have offered to stage the event in partnership with the Council, with no charge being made for the venue and 30% of profits going to a charity of the Council’s choosing. Alternatively, the firm says it will pay for the venue and donate 30% of proceeds, less the hire charge, to a charity of its own choosing.

In view of the promised charitable donation, Councillors will also be asked to decide if the firm should be charged the ‘standard’ (commercial) room hire rate or the lower ‘private’ rate. The former would come in at £852 with the lower rate amounting to £628.50 for the 15-hour session.

According to the Brizzle Beer Festival website, the company has so far arranged to stage eight festivals in the Bristol area during 2012, with five of these being in community or parish halls. The Patchway Journal recently reported the firm’s plan to stage a festival at Patchway Community Centre on Saturday 21st April.

Jess Stone, joint proprietor of Brizzle Beer Festivals, told The Journal:

“Having canvassed Bradley Stoke’s residents and been given a thumbs up, we feel a beer festival would be a brilliant addition to Bradley Stoke’s calendar.”

“We know the people of Bradley Stoke would support an event like this and help to raise some money for the local community whilst enjoying the fine ales and ciders, good company and entertainment.”

“Brizzle Beer Festivals operates from Bradley Stoke and as we see our community as a vibrant area, we have every confidence that a festival would be a rip-roaring success!”

Brook Way Activity Centre, Bradley Stoke

Photo: Brook Way Activity Centre, Bradley Stoke [map].

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  1. Great idea. Real Ale is a growing industry, and we have lots of local breweries in the area. We should be supporting our local artisans.

  2. It is a great idea……and therefore has no chance of actually taking place due to the Council quibbling over dozens of pounds. God forbid that anything fun should actually take place in this town.

  3. It will never go ahead, imagine the consequences of hordes of middle-aged, sandal-wearing, paid-up members of CAMRA staggering around BS under the influence of one too many halves of Old Thrunger.

    Legions of dayglo-jacketed “elfin safety” enforcement officers will have to flood the town and ensure any fun is immediately curbed lest merriment breaks out amongst the stout swillers.

    Our favourite ex-councillor had better get his travel plans up to date with even more raised crossing points along Brook Way to eliminate the risk of any curb tripping in the case of over imbibement.

    I hope this goes ahead, fake beard and tank top at the ready!

  4. Oh, I do hope they have Old Thrunger!

    I have my sandals and CAMRA card at the ready!

    I was telling some contractors we have over from India (who are staying in Bradley Stoke) about this, and they are intrigued to go to a British beer festival! So if it goes ahead, it will be international!

  5. Don’t dust off your sandals just yet. Bradley Stoke Councillors tonight voted AGAINST both of the two alternative proposals put forward by Brizzle Beer Festivals. Instead, they will wait to see how that company’s Patchway event goes on 21st April.

  6. What a surprise is this the same clueless council members that were at the centre of the bowling club fiasco that cost the council thousands of pounds a few years ago? Especially a certain local (next door to Proposed venue) doctors surgery practice manager. Well done Bradley stoke town council in protecting your own personal interests.

  7. Thanks for the support guys but you really do not need tank tops or sandals to come to one of our festivals…. unless you really want to!! We are disappointed the council has voted against this and it is all very well them saying that they will see how the Patchway Beer Festival (tickets now on sale!!) runs but we have very few dates left in our diary and as we have several other venues about to book up there probably won’t be an opportunity to host Bradley Stoke it’s own charity beer festival. This is a shame because as locals we would had offered a very good donation to Bradley Stoke and know there will be a lot of disappointed people. More fool our town council I say, this may explain why there is so little going on in Bradley Stoke!!!

  8. What? I can’t believe this. Are our councillors determined to make BS some sort of backwater? Beer festivals notoriously raise the profile of a place. They were more than happy to have the artisan farmers markets at Willowbrook, so why not an artisan beer festival?

    Let me guess, councillors think “beer” and assume drunken, loutish behaviour? I thought that bigotted idea had died years ago. Clearly not.

  9. Not entirely unpredictable given their track record, perish the thought of actually doing something for the populace. And then they will be asking for votes……

    Keep on plugging away Jess,I would suggest one of the local rugby clubs as a venue, St Mary’s, North Bristol, Aretians etc. Nailsea and Backwell RFC organise an absolute ripsnorter of a festival each summer and show what can be done with a bit of out of the box thinking. Alien to those who promote themselves as our “leaders” I know.

    Sandals on hold for now 🙂

  10. What about in the grounds of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre which is due to be open soon and could be a good fund raiser for them, or one of the schools – St Marys would be good as it is close to where I live !! If not BSCS and help the pupils raising money for the World Challenge expedition to Peru?

  11. anon-e-mouse, I am trying several rugby clubs in the area but a lot of clubs host their own festivals but don’t put your sandals on hold, come along to one of our neighbouring ares like our Patchway, Filton or Almondsbury Beer Festival and enjoy helping us raise some money for our neighbouring communities who’s councils are willing to take a risk to raise themselves some funds!! And as to the issue of lots of drunken people Bert, I think you are right, however the council knows we bring qualified door staff to deal with any “issues” , we liase with Avon and Somerset police and get PCSO’s to come to the festivals and to be honest in 8 years of festivalling we have NEVER had any problems with drunks, we are over 18s, don’t sell lager and our punters are big boys and girls who drink responsibly!!
    Can’t use a school I’m afraid Simon, this is against our companies policy. But don’t panic, I have no intention of going quietly, heck quiet is not in my vcocabulary…I run Beer Festivals!!! Come on Bradley Stoke Town Council, show some back bone and listen to your voters!!

  12. Hi there, haven’t looked at the Journal for a week or so and so I’m a bit late coming in on this story.
    Just goes to show how times change; back in 2003 (just after the opening of the Jubilee Centre) I approached CAMRA as a town cllr and asked them if they could stage a beer festival in the town. Just like Jess I had canvassed opinion from local residents and I thought it sounded a great idea. Unfortunately, CAMRA didn’t have the same view and said that they wouldn’t have enough volunteers to stage such a thing. At the time I was hoping it would be come an annual event, but it never happened.
    Let’s hope this new town council, who in the 1st 9 months of their reign have failed to make any positive contiribution to the town, wake up to this great idea and give it the support it deserves.

    Good luck Jess and the team.

  13. What suprised me the most was the fact that that the councilors turned up and the issue was debated! There must have been something of self interest on the agenda! They are such killjoys!

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