More than 70 real ales on of­fer at beer fes­ti­val

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By PHIL CREIGHTON

BEER LOVERS will be in par­adise this week­end, thanks to the an­nual Twyford Beer Fes­ti­val.

The vol­un­teer-run event will once again re­turn to the King Ge­orge V Me­mo­rial Field for two days of mu­sic and drink­ing.

And to meet de­mand, the site this year is big­ger and better with new ad­di­tions in­clud­ing a gin bar. Pay­ments can also be made by credit and debit cards as well as cash and vis­i­tors buy to­kens from the front desk to make it quicker to get pints from the bar.

Tomorrow’s (Fri­day) first ses­sion will in­clude an op­por­tu­nity to meet brew­ers, ask them ques­tions and learn more about the craft of creat­ing real ale.

And on both days there will be live mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment to en­joy as well as an op­por­tu­nity to meet vol­un­teers from Or­chid, the male can­cer char­ity that the event is held for.

More than 70 dif­fer­ent real ales will be served, along with 20 ciders, a se­lec­tion of Pimms, and soft drinks, with an em­pha­sis on lo­cal brew­eries in­clud­ing Bing­hams and Star­dust. Some of the beers will be gluten free.

Last year, the team be­hind Fes­ti­val raised more than £10,000 from Twyford, plus run­ning bars at Wok­ing­ham Fes­ti­val, Twyford Parish Fete and Hurst’s Party in the Park. This year they are look­ing to beat it.

Ian Wisdom, who is the chief or­gan­iser, said: “It’s just £3.50 per pint and it’s £5 to get in. That in­cludes a lim­ited edi­tion glasses, and they are very pop­u­lar – once they’re gone they’re gone.”

Be­ing fam­ily-friendly, Mr Wisdom said that the fes­ti­val at­tracts a wide mix­ture of peo­ple and drinks menu is suit­able for all tastes.

“There will be lots of choice on of­fer this year and our meet the brewer event on Fri­day is good fun.

“We also have a new beer com­ing from Star­dust Brew­ery: It will be the first time it will be on sale, and we’re proud to have it. I like to sup­port the smaller brew­eries where we can.

“I’ve or­dered good stocks of beer to last us for the week­end – we should have enough but if sup­plies are run­ning low, we can get some emer­gency sup­plies sent to us.

“Lod­don Brew­ery have been a real help to us, al­low­ing us to store beer in their store­room ahead of the fes­ti­val.”

And there’s more to the event than just beer.

Mr Wisdom ex­plained: “Through­out the week­end, we’ll have bands or acous­tic mu­sic play­ing to jolly things along. It’s hard to sin­gle out any one band, but The Mighty Triple O are head­lin­ing on Satur­day from 7pm and they’re lovely.

“Like RushKeeper, who played last year, they are amaz­ing.

“And all the bands are do­nat­ing their time for free so we can raise more money for Or­chid. We’re re­ally grate­ful to them.”

He added: “We have a very com­mit­ted team of vol­un­teers who all work their socks off to make the fes­ti­val so pop­u­lar.

“They know what Or­chid means to me as a char­ity – I’ve told them enough times! I’m de­lighted that a team from the char­ity will be on site to meet our guests.”

There’s more: Andrew Watts from Maiden­head-based fi­nan­cial firm Watt Money has sup­ported the fes­ti­val.

“Andy has made a sig­nif­i­cant donation towards the run­ning costs of the fes­ti­val, he’s such a nice bloke,” Mr Wisdom said. “He’s also gave Or­chid an extra donation when we pre­sented them with our prof­its last year.”

And that’s the aim of the fes­ti­val: make as much money as pos­si­ble for the can­cer char­ity.

Mr Wisdom said: “If we sell 5,000 pints I will be enor­mously happy. It will be a huge chunk of change for Or­chid.”

Twyford Beer Fes­ti­val is open from 5pm to 11pm on Fri­day and noon to 10pm on Satur­day. Entry is £5. For more de­tails, log on to www.twyford­beer­fest.co.uk

Ian Wisdom (left) with a vol­un­teer in fancy dress at last year’s Twyford Beer Fes­ti­val. This year’s event takes place tomorrow and Satur­day

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