Get set for Campaign for Real Ale’s Portsmouth beer festival

From left, John Bennett, Matthew Bennett and Ian Marshall at the beer festival at the University of Portsmouth Students Union last year
From left, John Bennett, Matthew Bennett and Ian Marshall at the beer festival at the University of Portsmouth Students Union last year
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It’s a showcase of the region’s finest ales and ciders.

And tomorrow marks the return of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Portsmouth Beerex at the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union.

It’s important to promote as many of the local, small brewers as possible.

Camra member and festival co-organiser Martyn Constable

Around 65 real ales, 20 ciders and a selection of craft beers and English wine will run through the taps at the popular festival.

And guests will be treated to a range of live music and a barbecue for when they need some food to wash down a pint.

Organisers say ticket sales have gone well – but there will be a stash available on the door for people to buy.

The first session of the festival, which won’t feature any live music, runs from midday to 4.30pm tomorrow.

Then things will crank up for the evening session, being held from 6.30pm to 11pm.

Saturday afternoon’s session runs from 11.30am to 4pm and the last one of the event takes place that night from 6.30pm to 11pm.

Beers are being sourced from a range of local brewers, including new outfits Urban Island Brewing Company, Hilsea, and The Southsea Brewing Company.

And there will be booze from further afield.

Camra member and festival co-organiser Martyn Constable said the event keeps growing every year.

Martyn said: ‘It’s nice to promote local and national beers.

‘We have got a good focus on beers from Yorkshire this year as well – we have about 20 coming from there.

‘It’s important to promote as many of the local, small brewers as possible.

‘It’s important because of the way they are crafted and made by someone who has a lot of passion for what they are doing.

‘The event will definitely be a success and we hope it will continue to grow year on year.

‘We started having meetings to prepare for this festival after Gosport Winterfest in February, and as soon as this one finishes we will be preparing for Winterfest again next year.’

Speaking about why beer festivals prove to be successful, Martyn said: ‘People seem to enjoy beers they wouldn’t normally get in their local pub.

‘They like the atmosphere.’

An army of Camra volunteers will be there to serve drinks and ensure the event runs smoothly.

Tickets cost £5 for the Friday daytime session, £8 for the evening one, £8 for Saturday daytime and £6 for the evening session.

The ticket price includes a festival guide and commemorative glass.

Camra members can claim free drinks tokens from the Camra membership stand at the festival.