Somerset Branch Real Ale & Cider Festival 2019

WSR/CAMRA Washford Real Ale & Cider Festival

This is what you missed this year! Great beers, cider and perry and sunshine. Watch out for news of next years event.

The Festival sold out of beer and cider three hours before scheduled close on Saturday evening. Beer of the Festival was Macho Mucho by New Bristol Brewery, Somerset Beer of the Festival was 3D Sheridan’s Irish Coffee Milk Stout, and Cider/Perry of the Festival was Pear Ambulance from Torre Cider Farm (supporting Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance).

West Somerset Railway Beer Festival in partnership with Somerset CAMRA at Washford Station.

The event runs for three days, from Thursday 20th June to Saturday 22nd June 2019.

The beer has all arrived on site and is racked ready to serve from tomorrow. There have been a couple of last-minute changes to our line-up; the final confirmed list of 25 beers and 6 ciders is as below.

Please come and visit the festival if you possibly can. There is no entry fee and beers/ciders are all priced £1.75 per half or £3.50 per pint.

The festival is open from midday until 8pm on Thursday, and midday 'til 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday and Saturday evening at 9pm a FREE BUS will depart from Washford, calling at Watchet, Williton, Bishops Lydeard and Taunton. Buses of Somerset route 28 towards Minehead departs just a few minutes later.

West Somerset Railway train services continue until 5.49pm towards Minehead and 6.09pm towards Bishops Lydeard each evening. These train departures will be announced at the bar in good time.

This information updates that to be found on

We hope to see you there.

Cheers 'n' Beers, Barrie Childs, Chairman, CAMRA Somerset Branch.


Powderkeg Castra 3.7

Brotherhood Sessions 3.8

St. Ives Harbourside 3.8

Bristol Beer Factory Notorious 3.8

Bang On Bo Pilsner 4.0

Baa Best Bitter 4.0

Fine Tuned Dark Soul Porter 4.0

Glede 1789 4.0

Plain Ales Innocence 4.0

Three Daggers Daggers Ale 4.1

Fierce & Noble Fierce Pale Ale 4.2

Swan Cloud Nine 4.2

Pitchfork Pitchfork 4.3

South Hams Hopnosis 4.5

Black Tor Devonshire Pale 4.5

Quantock QBOZ 4.5

Brecon Sandstorm 4.6

Riviera Torbay Express 4.9

Boss Black 5.0

3D Sheridan’s Irish Coffee Milk Stout 5.0

Bath Ales Lansdown 5.0

Devon Earth Lost in the Woods 5.2

Croft Deep Red 5.5

Kettlesmith Skyline 5.6

New Bristol Macho Mucho IPA 5.8


Secret Orchard Wild Rabbit 6.0

Westcroft Janets Jungle Juice 6.0

Watchet Cider Co. Watchet 6.0

Loaders Medium 6.5

Torre Cider Farm Bees Knees 6.5

Torre Cider Farm Pear Ambulance 6.5

Cast your mind, or take an imaginative trip, back to the 1970's. Pubs were more plentiful than now but when you ventured through their doors you were all too likely to find the choice of beer to be something from a range of nationally promoted but almost completely characterless fizzy keg beers. Mercifully there were still enough regional independent breweries to keep traditional cask ale alive and some like- minded individuals began to spread the word about these and to launch a battle to reach a target of having a cask conditioned ale on sale in every British pub. CAMRA was born and before the 70's was out more breweries began to establish themselves, including Butcombe, Cotleigh and Exmoor.

On the railway network British Rail had bid goodbye to mainline steam engines in 1968 and the trains were hauled by first generation diesel locomotives which inspired enthusiastic followings of their own. Other enthusiasts who mourned the end of the steam age grew together to establish "heritage railways" and so we saw the creation of the East Somerset and West Somerset Railways.

Between Thursday June 20th and Saturday June 22nd some of these threads come together as the Somerset Branch of CAMRA hosts a Real Ale and Cider Festival at Washford station on the West Somerset Railway. The venue will be the workshops building of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust and when the taps open at midday on Thursday there should be 24 ales and 6 traditional ciders on sale. With Mick Cleveland involved in the ordering expect the unusual and excellent.

Running simultaneously with the Festival the WSR is holding its annual Diesel Gala, the three days of the year when the 20 mile line is given over to train haulage by those "first generation" diesels that hauled the trains in the 1960's and 70's. This means that there will be a more frequent service of trains calling at Washford and as car parking at the station or in the village generally must be viewed as "challenging" (i.e. nigh impossible) train travel is the best way to get to and from the Festival. Special return tickets for a journey to and from Washford, either from Bishops Lydeard or Minehead can be purchased and these include three halves of beer or cider at the Festival. Book via or call 01643 704996. There is a discount element if you book this way rather than buying a train ticket on the day and beer tokens when you arrive at the Festival. Please note also that you'll need cash at the Festival.

Festival opening hours will be 12.00 to 20.00 on Thursday 20th and 12.00 to 22.00 on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately the advertised evening trains due to run during this Festival have now been cancelled by the West Somerset Railway. These evening services were promoted by Somerset CAMRA in good faith but have been pulled as a direct consequence of a lack of volunteer guards and signalmen.

The reality of evening transport options from Washford during the Festival is now as follows:

-towards Minehead (all 3 days): last train 5.49pm, last no.28 bus 9.11pm

-towards Bishops Lydeard (Thurs/Fri): last train 6.09pm, last no.28 bus to Taunton 6.58pm (Saturday): last train 6.09pm, last no.28 bus to Taunton 6.23pm.

WSR trains have licensed buffet cars and the Turntable Café at Minehead station is licensed and stocks bottled beers and ciders from local producers. And Quantock Brewery is less than five minutes of valuable drinking/walking time from Bishops Lydeard station. Train timetables will be found in the Diesel Gala section of the WSR website.

So there we are. The longest daylight hours of the year, a choice of good beer and trains to get you there and back in the comfort of nearly half a century ago. See you at the bar?