The Alderley Edge Union Club is a little hidden gem tucked away on Stevens Street, just of the villages’ high street. Around five minutes walk from the train station, the Club house hosts a vast variety of activities, from a fully stacked bar to pool tables and a bowling field. And last Saturday, it hosted its 7th annual beer festival.
Beer isn’t a stranger to the Union Club. Their bar always has three real ales, which rotate on a weekly basis. This time though, they had ten local beers and four ciders on tap. And when we say local, we mean only an hour down the road like Weetwood Brewery in Tarporley, or Storm Brewery, which in only 20 minutes away in Macclesfield. Talk about hyper-local beer festival!
The club house usually open to members or guests of members (guests pay £1 on entry, members obviously go free), but on Saturday it was open to all for a small entry fee of £3 which included the festival program and a glass. The beer could be purchased from two separate bars for a very reasonable price of £2.60, or £3 for a pint of cider.
At the bowling field in glorious sunshine festival-goers could also enjoy freshly made burgers, sausages and bacon butties. The BBQ was supplied to by the Alderley Village Butchers on the high street, just around the corner, and manned by one of the club members, a volunteer who also happened to be a chef.
And the festival-goers were also treated to a range of entertainment, from a one-man band to Irish jigs and fiddle music by Fosbrook. These kids were seriously talented and they delighted the audiences so much that we saw a few try some of the jigs themselves.
Terry Bowes, the president of the club, said the festival hadn’t previously had that much entertainment on offer, save for a brass band made up with the members of the club. Based on the applauds and whooping after everyact, it’s safe to assume the music and dancing went down well with the visitors and should definitely be done next year as well.
It’s always nice to see a community come together and even more so when the whole community pulls together to make an event a success. This festival was set up purely by volunteer force by the members of the club and it has such a homely feel to it. Alan Daniels, the treasurer and Bowes said that the club has gone from strength to strength since they took over running it last September. Apparently, the club had been struggling previously but that’s a thing of the past, now they have been able to refurbish the washrooms and the seating areas, with future plans to renovate the bar and surrounding area.
And it’s no wonder the club is thriving, with around five new members joining up in every monthly meeting. The entry requirements aren’t too rigid, but you do fill in a form and being a nice person generally helps. The club has a very welcoming atmosphere, and the members are clearly very passionate about their club. Bowes has been a member since the tender age of 18, and Daniels was a young 20-odd whipper-snapper when he first joined up. Obviously, they both stayed with the club throughout the years and now work tirelessly to keep the club not only running but delighting those it serves. Many of the members bring their whole family along, as they did for the beer festival as well. Several children were running around joining in the festivities, and were looked after by everyone at the clubhouse. As they say, it takes a village.
The Alderley Edge Union Club is a true gem in a beautiful village, and their seventh annual beer festival was a roaring success. The rumour has it they have already started planning the next one.