Fine beers and sun provide the perfect festival in Wickham

Abe Mazhar, left, with Sally Jouhning, Simon Smith, and Dave Robinson, right. Photo:  Ian Hargreaves  (170483-1)
Abe Mazhar, left, with Sally Jouhning, Simon Smith, and Dave Robinson, right. Photo: Ian Hargreaves (170483-1)
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REAL ale fans took advantage of the good weather to enjoy quaffing a beer or two in the sun at the 18th Wickham Charity Beer Festival.

The event, which runs twice a year, took place at The Wickham Centre on Friday and Saturday.

And all proceeds were split between four good causes –Macmillan Cancer Support, Kilimanjaro For Felix, the Wickham branch of The Royal British Legion and Bishop’s Waltham Cricket Club.

Co-organiser Mike Betts said: ‘We’ve got 40 beers and five ciders from 16 different breweries from five counties neighbouring Hampshire.

‘We should have about 800 paying punters in across the two days – there have been a lot of happy drinkers, both inside and out.’

Food was provided at the Saturday day session by the Real Junk Food Project, a not-for-profit scheme which takes food that supermarkets would have otherwise dumped.

Project organiser Sue Cooper said: ‘We meet here at the centre every week day, 2pm to 5pm, and we’re open to everybody. We operate a “pay as you feel” model, where people can give us cash, their time or skills in return for the food. Doing an event like this helps spread the word, and we can give something back to the community.’

Among those enjoying the beers, there were people of all ages, from hardened session drinkers to young families.

Tim and Karen Humphreys moved to Wickham shortly before the festival last year. This year they had 10-month-old Emma with them.

They were joined by their friends Alison and Jason Williams from Fareham with their daughter Beatrix, two.

Jason joked: ‘This year we’ll call it a habit, next year it will be a tradition.’

Musical entertainment was also provided by Teed Up Blues Band on Friday night and Audio X and Ubermeister on Saturday.

The next festival is on October 14. Find more at wickhambeerfestival.co.uk