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Wet Your Whistle on September’s Rail Ale Trail

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Put some spring into your step this September by setting aside some time to sample quality brews at some of the UK’s best ale festivals. Discover many excellent ales, ciders and perries and use our journey planner to find cheap train tickets before you set off so you have more to spend on samples and souvenirs.

Read on to find out more about September’s Rail Ale Trail …

Take the train to Somerset… for the 13th Somerset Real Ale Festival

Wet your whistle and enjoy a great atmosphere at the Somerset Real Ale Festival at Minehead Railway Station this September.

Taking place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September, this yearly knees-up is organised by the local CAMRA organisation and West Somerset Railway, with sponsorship from Quantock Brewery this year. There will be more than 100 beers and 20 ciders to try, as well as a selection of wine and perries. Entertainment will also be provided in the form of live music on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night, there will also be a hog roast to enjoy.

Entry to the festival is free but you will need to buy a glass to sample all of the wonderful drinks on offer. Simply step off the train, buy a glass and tokens for the bar and enjoy a convivial atmosphere right on the platform.

Take the train to North Cheltenham… for the Autumn Ale & Steam Weekend

Indulge in a love of both ales and railways at this brand new festival in Greet, North Cheltenham. Taking place at Winchcombe Station, the festival is an easy train journey away.

The first edition of this new event is organised by North Cotswold CAMRA and Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. The platform will be transformed into a celebration of beer and steam on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September, but Sunday’s opening will be subject to beer availability so you may want to check before travelling.

A relatively small event, there will be somewhere in the region of 24 local and exotic beers to try as well as a selection of hot and cold food.

Take the train to St Albans… for the St Albans Beer Festival

Taking place in the St Albans Civic Centre and across six different bars, this is a large and friendly festival.

Held between Wednesday 26 and Sunday 29 September, the St Albans Beer Festival is a full-blooded affair. There will be up to 350 real ales on offer as well as a selection of cider perry, bottle conditioned beers and an expansive range of foreign beers. There will also be live music to enjoy on Thursday night and a quiz on Saturday offering everyone the chance to win great prizes. Entrance is free for CAMRA members at all times.

The site is easily reached on foot when you take the train to St Albans City or Abbey railway stations, so you won’t have too far to walk with heavy bags on your way home.

Other September 2012 beer festivals

You can also:

• Take a train to York to enjoy the York Beer & Cider Fest held adjacent to the York Racecourse and offering hundreds of drinks to sample (19 – 22 September 2012).

• Pay a visit to Jersey and sample a range of lovely beers and drinks at the 24th Jersey Beer & Cider Festival in People’s Park (20 – 22 September 2012).

• Book a train to Nantwich and enjoy a roaring event at the local club for this year’s Nantwich Beer Festival (28 – 30 September 2012).

Packing your bag to visit a September beer festival? Let us know how it goes or tell us your favourite beer or ale in the comments below…

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