Beer Festival Staffing Form

Dear CAMRA Member

Colchester CAMRA would like to invite you to help us celebrate the 12th Colchester Winter Beer Festival, taking place at Colchester Arts Centre.

Only volunteers who have completed and returned the form will be able to work, we won’t be accepting any “walk ups”. We will endeavour to satisfy your preferred sessions and jobs, however it might not always be possible to do this for all sessions. All sessions will be filled on a First Come First Served basis, so if you would like to work a particular session, get your form in quickly!  We will send a confirmation e-mail of the sessions you will work, so please ensure to include your e-mail address.

When completing the form please be sensible with the timings you wish to work, it can be very tiring, especially during busy periods.


 11:45 noon - 2pm2pm - 4pm4pm - 6pm6pm - 10:30pm
Wed 30th Jan Open noon - 10:30 pm
Thus 31st Jan Open noon - 10:30 pm
Fri 1st Feb Open noon - 10:30 pm
Sat 2nd Feb Open noon - 10:30 pm
I am available to help during setup from 9am on Tuesday 29th January
I am available to help from 9am during tear down on Sunday 3rd February.

Important Note: By completing and submitting this form you have agreed that you have read the Staff Information Sheet, Beer Festival Safety Policy and the Health and Safety Volunteers Handbook and will comply with the terms and conditions contained in them. Copies of which can be obtained from the Beer Festival Organiser and the Staffing Desk.

Privacy Notice.

The information you give us will be used to administer your volunteering at the beer festival. This includes drawing up of staff schedules and we will contact you using the details you provide to confirm your working sessions.

Thank you for volunteering to help at the 33rd Colchester Real Ale and Cider Festival. When you arrive to work, you must report to the Staffing Desk and YOU MUST SIGN IN (you are not covered by the insurance if you have not signed in), the Staffing Manager will then allocate you a position to work. Please read the Volunteers Induction Brief, Health and Safety Volunteers Handbook 2017 and the Beer Festival Safety Policy (Ver. 3.2) and acquaint yourself with the layout of the hall and the fire exits. This is basically all common-sense stuff, but very important.

If you will be serving behind the bars then you must also read the ‘Alcohol Authorisation’ and sign that you have read and understand it. You will not be allowed to serve behind the bars if you don’t read and sign.

If you can help with the setting up and knocking down phases on the Monday and/or Sunday, then the wearing of Safety footwear and gloves is advisable (we do have a supply of gloves for those that don’t have any). Only persons wearing safety shoes and gloves will be allowed to move casks or stillage.

It is important that you do not undertake any form of work for which you may be unsuited by means of any injury or medical condition.  By completing the staffing form you are deemed to have agreed with this. All staff (once signed in) working at the festival (CAMRA members and non-members) are covered by our Insurance Policy, details of which can be obtained from the Festival Organiser if required.

To show our appreciation for your assistance, beer/cider is free to staff. Discounts will also be available for Belgium Beers, craft beer (in KeyKeg, bottles and cans), and food. Please note, however, that free beer and discounts apply ONLY to volunteers, whilst working, and NOT to their friends, families, pets etc.! Anyone caught giving unauthorised free beer or discounts could be asked to leave the festival and face discipline proceedings under CAMRA guidelines. Soft drinks and coffee are free to staff and customers.

IMPORTANT: It is a condition of our insurance cover that organisers do not allow anyone who they consider incapable of working safely to work in any capacity.  By all means take advantage of the free beer, but please DON’T OVERDO IT!  If you are asked to take a break or cease working altogether, please comply with good grace.

As a thank you to volunteers who help with the knockdown on the Sunday, there will be a dinner provided free once we have finished at a local pub.

Please remember that we are here to promote real ale and the aims of CAMRA. To ensure that no one gets short measures - all our glasses are oversized, with a clear half-pint mark. A measure should be drawn so that the liquid just reaches the line, with the head as a bonus, not part of the pint.

If anyone wants to sample a drink before buying, pour a half-inch or so into their glass, but watch out for anyone who thinks they can drink their way through the festival for free in this fashion!

If anyone complains about beer quality, just change it - but again be aware of the ‘clever’ types who only complain after they’ve drunk most of it! In general, though, the customer is always right, even if they’re wrong!

If anyone wants to drink out of their own glass or tankard which you suspect holds much more than a pint, use a spare measured glass (not the one you’re drinking from!) and pour it into theirs.

Do not serve alcohol to the following:

  1. Anyone who you believe to be, under 18 years of age
  2. Anyone who in your opinion is already incapacitated through drink or drugs
  3. Anyone acting in an aggressive or violent manner.

If in any doubt ask for the Duty Bar Manager or the Festival Organiser.

The Finance Team will regularly empty tills and cash boxes. It shouldn’t need saying, but obviously we are all relying on everyone’s honesty to make this a successful festival. Any questions, if a barrel needs changing/tilting, or if you simply want a break, please speak to the Duty Manager in the area you are working.

Finally, many thanks again for your assistance - and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.