Cheers! Beer festival is the biggest and best yet

Worcester News: TIME TO RELAX: Drinkers at the festival were able to enjoy beers, ciders and perries from every corner of the British isles. Pictures: Paul Jackson. 32338801 TIME TO RELAX: Drinkers at the festival were able to enjoy beers, ciders and perries from every corner of the British isles. Pictures: Paul Jackson. 32338801

THOUSANDS of people flocked to Pitchcroft to enjoy a record-breaking beer festival over the weekend.

The 12th Worcester Camra beer, cider and perry festival, which opened on Thursday, proved to be the biggest and most popular yet.

After a slow start the numbers picked up on Friday with 6,500 people through the doors of the marquee – a 20 per cent increase on last year.

The previous biggest Friday was back in 2009 when there were 5,800 people. The drinking began in earnest on Saturday with people queueing well before the tent opened.

Festival organiser Bill Ottaway said: “It’s better than expected.

“Friday was the best Friday we have ever had but figures were slightly down on Thursday.

“We are certainly in the top 10 Camra festivals and the biggest in the West Midlands.

“I would say we have got a winning formula.”

Mr Ottaway was confident that there were likely to have been 12,000 people through the doors over the course of the festival, smashing all previous records, including last year’s when there were 11,000 festival-goers.

It is estimated that 50,000 pints were consumed – 5,000 more than last year.

The festival had a more sombre edge this year because of the death of volunteer Janet Firth and Len Irving, a Worcester festival committee member and the cooling manager who died following a heart attack in June.

The festival was dedicated to Mr Irving and a special ale, Irving Beerlen, a four per cent extra pale ale, was brewed by Cannon Royall in his memory.

Festival-goers were spoilt for choice when it came to the beers with more than 200 different varieties and 100 different ciders and perries, some of which were brewed locally, including Arty Pharty brewed in Malvern and Amy’s Rose from Hanley Broadheath and Hereford Dark from Hereford. But there were beers, ciders and perries from every corner of the British isles, from Cornwall to northern Scotland.

The strongest beer (11 per cent) was the Russian Imperial Stout from Devizes, Wiltshire.

Entertainment came in the form of rock, pop, indie, soul, blues and jazz bands.

The festival has raised money to be split evenly between three charities – Midlands Air Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and Acorns Children’s Hospice in Worcester.

Mr Ottaway said he still had to establish how much had been raised for the charities but, like last year, it would be in the thousands.

Mr Ottaway thanked everybody who had supported the festival, particularly the volunteers who gave up their own time to help manage the event.

Comments (6)

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12:42pm Mon 15 Aug 11

MR H Marks says...

Well done to all for organising another wonderful beer festival. Fantastic atmosphere, great beer great company. Cant wait for next year :- )
Well done to all for organising another wonderful beer festival. Fantastic atmosphere, great beer great company. Cant wait for next year :- ) MR H Marks

1:18pm Mon 15 Aug 11

lozzarooni says...

Had a fantastic time at cider & beer festival, wish it was on more than once a year!
Had a fantastic time at cider & beer festival, wish it was on more than once a year! lozzarooni

6:42pm Mon 15 Aug 11

molecat says...

This year was absolutely rubbish. I wasn't able to go!
This year was absolutely rubbish. I wasn't able to go! molecat

10:34pm Mon 15 Aug 11

Bribe.A.Burger says...

What a completely dull event. Attended by mostly tedious middle aged men, but then again the Villa were away at the weekend, they had nowt else to do...!
What a completely dull event. Attended by mostly tedious middle aged men, but then again the Villa were away at the weekend, they had nowt else to do...! Bribe.A.Burger

6:56am Tue 16 Aug 11

Maggie Would says...

Bribe.A.Burger wrote:
What a completely dull event. Attended by mostly tedious middle aged men, but then again the Villa were away at the weekend, they had nowt else to do...!
Some of us actually like tedious middle aged men.
Well, I'm surrounded by them, so I must do.
[quote][p][bold]Bribe.A.Burger[/bold] wrote: What a completely dull event. Attended by mostly tedious middle aged men, but then again the Villa were away at the weekend, they had nowt else to do...![/p][/quote]Some of us actually like tedious middle aged men. Well, I'm surrounded by them, so I must do. Maggie Would

11:48am Tue 16 Aug 11

one94 says...

This was another well planned and organised event. The beers were great and my only complaint (as ever) is all the good stuff was running out by Friday afternoon! Can't wait for next year
This was another well planned and organised event. The beers were great and my only complaint (as ever) is all the good stuff was running out by Friday afternoon! Can't wait for next year one94
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