The Great Kinder Beer Barrel Challenge has its roots in a bet that occurred in 1998. The original challenge was laid down one bleak January night when local Edale shepherd Geoff Townsend complained to the landlord at the Old Nags Head Inn that they had run out of his favourite beer. Geoff jokingly offered to fetch a barrel of the brew from the Snake Pass Inn, only three miles away as the crow flies, but with 900ft of ascent and descent in between. The landlord agreed that if Geoff succeeded, he could have the barrel (and, more importantly, its contents). So the thirsty shepherd gathered twelve locals to help carry the barrel on a borrowed Mountain Rescue stretcher. He won the bet, shared the beer with his team, and raised £1200 for Edale School in the process.
Following Geoff Townsend’s triumphant effort in, an inventive local Clive Wetherall suggested they do it all again a year later, but invite other teams to compete. Thus the Great Kinder Beer Barrel Challenge was born.
It has grown to maximum of eleven teams of eight runners, each having to construct its own carrying device to hold a nine-gallon barrel. Teams set off at three-minute intervals, climbing steeply up from the Snake Pass Inn to cross the peat bogs of the Kinder Plateau before a bone-aching rocky descent to finish at the Old Nags Head Inn.
Trophies are awarded and the fastest team can drink their barrel. Sponsorship money is distributed between local Edale charities and non-profit making organisations.