‘Pirates’ will drink to pieces of eight theme at beer celebration
Visitors in fancy dress are expected as The Harlington plays host to Fleet Beer Festival
REAL ale lovers are flocking to buy advance tickets for Fleet’s eighth annual beer festival next month.
Fleet Lions are promising 40 real ales and ciders at the festival, which will be held in The Harlington on August 9.
To celebrate its eighth year, the Lions have picked the pirate theme Pieces of Eight, with prizes are on offer for the best outfits on the day.
A special commemorative glass, designed by Fleet artist Andy Johnson, will also be given to every drinker.
This year’s festival features two sessions – one at lunchtime from 11am to 3pm, and one in the evening from 5.30pm to 9.30pm.
There will be 38 different real ales available from 15 breweries, including those from the best local micro breweries in the area. Locally produced ciders will also be sold.
All six of the Monster Raving Loony Party’s range of Co‘ALE’ition ales will be on sale together for the first time, including Longdog’s Winning Co‘ALE’ition, which is now being sold in the Strangers’ Bar at the Houses of Parliament.
Afternoon entertainment will be provided by the Stomping Nomads with their eclectic mix of blues, country, skiffle and bluegrass music, while the Fleet Booze Hound Blues Band will provide the evening entertainment.
There will also be a barbecue with all the meat supplied by Clarks the Butchers from Fleet, and fresh rolls from Morrisons.
Fleet resident Derrill Carr, who is helping to publicise this year’s festival, said advance tickets are selling well.
“Organisers confidently expect a record attendance this year, building on the outstanding success of the previous year which was their first year at The Harlington,” he said. “The facilities at The Harlington, both indoors and outdoors, are second to none in the Fleet area and everything is in place to make this the best and most successful Fleet Lions Ale Festival so far.”
The official sponsors are the Hammerpot brewery, from Sussex, while Chris Gill, of Ascot Ales brewery, has been particularly supportive.
Proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to Sailability. Based at Frensham Ponds, the charity gives disabled people the chance to sail and offers a range of boating, from therapeutic to competitive sailing, all within a safe, caring and social environment.
Festival organiser Daniel Franklin, said: “This is the second year we’ve held the beerfest at the larger venue of The Harlington, which last year really proved itself in terms of the crowds we can entertain. And this year I’m confidently expecting even more than the 750 visitors we had last year – all drinking to a really worthwhile cause.”
Tickets are £7 in advance from www.fleetlions.org.uk/ beerfest, or £8 on the door.
Getting the beers in: Fleet Lions Beer Festival organisers Dan Franklin (left) and Jonathan Hellem with the official award for becoming the first venue to serve all six Monster Raving Loony Party Co‘ALE’ition ales at the same time.