Cheers to return of town beer festival
SOUTHPORT Beer And Cider Festival returns this weekend after a two-year absence, promising 60 beers, ciders and perries to be sampled over three days.
Neville Grundy, organiser and member of the Southport and West Lancashire branch of Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), said the event will return better than ever after its hiatus.
He said: “I think there were two reasons really, one is that there were some questions about the beer quality at the last one, some people said the beers were a bit too warm.
“I didn’t notice this myself, but several people did.
“The other reason was there were some questions over whether we should carry on with that venue, St John’s Ambulance Hall on Wright Street.
“We were looking for another venue but quite simply there isn’t one we can afford so we’ve gone back to St John’s.
“The method of keeping the barrels cool will be improved this time.
“As for the venue, some people didn’t like it but in my own personal view there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
“It’s just the right size for us, it’s perfectly situated by the station, I don’t understand why people had a problem with it.
“I know that Doug McAdam, our chairman at Southport and West Lancs branch of Camra, and the rest of the event organisers have put a lot of effort in to addressing the problem of beer temperature.’’
Despite the complaints, Neville said that the event was missed over the past two years and he has had numerous inquiries about a return.
“Maybe a two-year rest wasn’t a bad idea.”
Neville also promised live music and fine wines, emphasising there is something for everyone.
“They’re putting live music on Friday and Saturday evening and, for the first time ever, fine wines.
“In previous years we’ve had fruit wines, but CAMRA’s changed its policy and including the fine wines people are used to having, as well as prosecco if people have a partner who doesn’t like beer particularly.
“There will be food available for those who get the munchies while they’re drining.”
He added that the festival acts as a platform to expose people to new beers.
The festival opens today, Thursday, October 25 from 6-11pm, and midday-11pm on Friday and Saturday.
Camra members have free admission, while non-members pay £4 admission, on top of beer costs.