WATCH: From pale ales to stout, this beer festival has it all

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ALE fans from far and wide gathered in the city yesterday afternoon for the start of an annual beer festival.

The Portsea Island Beer Festival, held at the Groundlings Theatre in Kent Street, Portsmouth, has returned for a seventh year, under the watchful expert eye of brewer Malcolm Irving.

Amanda Merton and Paul Merton sample the wares at the beer festival     

Picture by:  Malcolm Well

Amanda Merton and Paul Merton sample the wares at the beer festival Picture by: Malcolm Well

With 50 drinks to choose between, from light ales to imperial stout and a range of ciders, visitors have certainly found themselves spoiled for choice.

The event is also raising money for charity – the Rainbow centre in Fareham, Motiv8 and Rowans Hospice.

One of the enthusiasts that travelled to the event was 61-year-old Alan Walton, from Basingstoke.

Alan said: ‘My friend and I come to the festival every year – though he lives in Gosport so it’s a much shorter journey for him.

This group of friends meet up regularly at any good beer festival    

Picture by:  Malcolm Wells

This group of friends meet up regularly at any good beer festival Picture by: Malcolm Wells

‘We both tend to travel around to events like these quite a lot, and this festival never fails to impress.

‘There is so much to choose from – I tend to gravitate towards the porters, those are definitely my favourite.’

Also at the event were 33-year-old David Hyde and 35-year-old Hannah Lloyd, both from Southsea.

David said: ‘I like to come along and support events like this – and to have the beer thrown in is an added bonus.

Jim Campbell pulls pints   Picture by:  Malcolm Wells (171013-5451

Jim Campbell pulls pints Picture by: Malcolm Wells (171013-5451

‘The organiser, Malcolm Irving, always puts on good events and it is great that he does it for charity as well.’

Hannah added: ‘I’ve got a drink that has come from Lancashire – it just goes to show that the organiser has put a lot of effort into getting everything together for this.

‘I tend to choose my beer by the percentages – so I’ll start with something quite light and then work my way up to the dark ales.

‘This event has been fabulous and I am really impressed by the range of beers available.’

Organiser Malcolm Irving said: ‘Things have gone really well so far.

‘Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and we’ve raised a good amount of money for charity in the process.

‘The volunteers who have helped put this event together have been brilliant and I cannot thank them enough.’

The Portsea Island Beer Festival will be continuing today, and tickets are available on the door of the Groundlings Theatre.