Tameside Beer Festival

The Tameside Beer Festival, originally started by the Rotary Club of Ashton under Lyne, was conceived in 2011.

The original aim was to raise money towards the End Polio Now campaign. This is an initiative of Rotary International working with the World Health Organization started in 1985 with the intention of eradicating Polio from the world. Rotary has raised over $1.8 billion so far. $14 billion from all partners. 99.9% successful with two remaining countries with some reported cases. The event proved to be a success and raised about £1,200.

In 2012 the festival aimed to raise funds for WaterAid – another Rotary supported charity. This was the year that we started using the cartoon logo that was created and donated by Tony Husband.

From 2013 onwards it was decided to support some local charities. Rather than the few hundred pounds that Ashton Rotary had traditionally given to a number of local charities, the money raised from the beer festival could be significant and make a difference. That year the money was split between Alzheimer’s Society and Rotary’s “Shelter Box”. In 2014 it was shared between Willow Wood Hospice and Rotary’s Disaster Aid UK & Ireland. By 2015 the profits had risen to well over £3,000 and the money was split between “Breast Cancer Now”, “Prostate Cancer UK” & “Friends of Tameside Young Carers (FOTYC)”.

The Rotary Club of Ashton under Lyne ceased to operate in 2016. Many its members joined the new Tameside Rotary. In so doing brought the knowledge and resources for the beer festival.

The charities supported have been:

2016 – Tameside Macmillan Unit & NSPCC

2017 – British Heart Foundation & Diabetes UK

2018 – British Lung Foundation & Dementia UK

2019 – Friends of Tameside Young Carers & Willow Wood Hospice.

The Beer Festival was a huge gamble for a relatively small group of people. We had the cost of the hall, beers, advertising, printing and others which total around £6,000 before any money comes in. Fortunately with the generosity of the people and companies that advertise and sponsor the barrels and t-shirts everything worked out. One of the big problems with this kind of event is the weather and security. We were very fortunate that we could hire the Stalybridge Community Centre with the old market hall providing an ideal venue. The staff there have been enormously helpful in making the event successful.  

The Tameside Beer Festival has gone from strength to strength and in 2019 raised about £8,400. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions we were not able to put on the beer fest in 2020 or 2021.

In 2022 we we able to stage the 10th anniversary festival, and in challenging economic times we were delighted to raise £8,100. The main beneficiaries were Smallshaw Hurst Community Action Group and Cancer UK, with the balance being distributed to local charities.

There is always live music throughout the festival ranging from folk, soloists, Oompah, choirs, rock and punk. We try to encourage local bands where possible and a number of the bands kindly play just for expenses and on occasion they’ve even given that back.

We look forward to seeing you at the Tameside Beer Festival on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023, at Stalybridge Civic Hall.