Last weekend saw the return of Portsmouth Beer Festival. After the huge success of the May 2014 and Christmas sessions, the Portsmouth Beer Festival team were back.
The festival is “a celebration of craft beers and cask ales alongside a selection of ciders and draught beer”. The team had clearly done their research with the array of beers they had on display. With an eclectic mix of beers, ciders and ales, and tasting available, there was no room for disappointment.
On entering the beer festival you were given your ‘official tasting notes’. This was your beer bible. All the drinks, brewers and anything you wanted to know to help you make your selection was in this booklet in an easy A-Z format. As well as this you got a choice between a half or a full pint Portsmouth Beer Festival branded glass, for all your drinks that night which was a great souvenir to take home. Plus you received a free beer token (the value of half a pint).
Entertainment at the festival was well covered. There was a games room featuring a few classics – ‘play your cards right’ and ‘hoopla’, raising money for Samuels Fund and Rowans Hospice and a steady hand game by Sam FM.
Outside in a ready-made beer garden were the food stalls, the smell was wonderful. Providing the food was Flip Burgers and O’Hagan’s BBQ and Hog Roast. It was a toss up between a perfectly crafted burger, a “no artificial anything” hot dog, or a hog roast. I decided to go for the hog roast as I was enjoying the cider.
Headlining the festival was The Southsea Alternative Choir (TSAC), supported by Mr Big Stuff and Fleetingwood Mac. It was the first time I had seen any of the bands, and was truly blown away by their performances. Particularly TSAC who played wonderful renditions of a variety of songs with the lyrics on a projector in the background for the whole crowd to join in.
The mix of festival goers was diverse, ranging from 18 – 50+. It was great to see a such a variety of people of all ages connecting over something they loved. The atmosphere was fun and friendly with a combination of good music, entertainment and a fine selection of beers and ciders.
The Portsmouth Beer Festival is due back this December for another fantastic event, which I am already looking forward to. To find out more about the charities at the festival visit www.samuelsfund.co.uk and www.rowanshospice.co.uk.