Canal Trust to Organise Inaugural Winter Ale Festival

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to present its first ever beer festival on Saturday 7th November, in good time for locals to get in the mood for the run up to Christmas.

Following on from their recent involvement in the brilliantly successful Melksham Food & River Festival, the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust local branch decided that a Winter Ale Festival would be a great way to have a good time, whilst raising funds for the restoration of the canal.

Dave Maloney, organiser of the event, and Chair of the Melksham, Chippenham & Calne Branch, said: “We have many Real Ale enthusiasts amongst our members, and it was evident at the Food & River Festival, that local Melksham people really appreciate a good quality drink, as the K&A beer tent was very popular. This event will give people the opportunity to try an even wider variety of ales.

“As it’s a winter ale festival, the beers will be slightly stronger than usual, ranging from 3.8% – 7% proof. We are hoping to have a selection of ten winter ales from independent breweries, so they should be different from those usually available in the local pubs. There will also be a few ciders and possibly a perry.

Newman’s, Melksham’s independent local butcher, has kindly agreed to help us by supplying a variety of good quality sausages, which will make tasty accompaniments to the ales.”

The Winter Ale Festival will be on Saturday 7th November 12:00 noon – 4:00pm at the Assembly Rooms Melksham. Tickets are £5 and, if bought in advance, will include one free drink. They can be bought in advance online at and from Melksham Tourist Information Centre; they will also be available on the day on the door. Every ticket purchased will include a free commemorative glass.

Westbury resident and volunteer Malcolm Hitchinson, Chair of MCC Events Committee, said: “We really appreciated the support Melksham people gave MCC at the Food and River Festival; we hope to see some of our new friends at the Winter Ale Festival and also at next year’s events, including the Food and River Festival which is planned for September 4th 2016.

“All money raised will be used to help in the local restoration and promotion of the         Wilts & Berks Canal.

“For more information on the Trust, please visit our websites at &