DCSIMG

Hayling beer fest gets a sell-out crowd

The Annual 'Ale-ing Fest at Hayling Island Community Centre at the weekend proved to be as successful as previous years !   Organiser Rod Carter (46) pulls a glass of the very popular 'Havant Harvester'   Picture: Malcolm Wells (123263-2237)

The Annual 'Ale-ing Fest at Hayling Island Community Centre at the weekend proved to be as successful as previous years ! Organiser Rod Carter (46) pulls a glass of the very popular 'Havant Harvester' Picture: Malcolm Wells (123263-2237)

FROM Elder Skelter to Havant Stopped Dancing, there was a tipple to suit every ale lover’s taste at a celebration of local brews.

Since starting in 1995, The Ale-ing Fest – Hayling Island’s own beer festival – has grown from strength to strength and become a popular annual staple.

The 30 ales, nine ciders and plenty of music on offer, including the Velvet Lips and the Trevor John Band, at the Hayling Island Community Centre, helped draw in the crowds.

And organisers were celebrating after the final night on Saturday was a 600-person sell out for the second year running.

Rod Carter, who helps organise the weekend, said: ‘I’ve been involved for six years now and it’s doubled in size in terms of numbers of people through the doors.

‘We get about 200 on Friday night, 70 to 80 for a quiet session on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night was a sell-out, as it was last year. It’s really good for us.

‘It’s right on the Hayling Island social calendar now and it’s something that people look forward to.

‘We’ve really concentrated on local breweries this year – the closest to home being Havant Brewery, and Irving from Portsmouth, as well as others from Sussex and Dorset.’

Christina and Dudley Clarke-Jervoise have recently returned to Hayling after living in France for 11 years.

Mr Clarke-Jervoise said: ‘I used to be a Camra member, and much as I love wine, I do love to drink beer.

‘Real ale is getting much better and more of these little micro-breweries are springing up.

‘I tried the Spooky by the Arundel Brewery, which I thought was very good and Havant Stopped Dancing was nice too.’

Rod Elliott, 65, from Hayling Island, said: ‘I’ve been involved in one way or another since the festival’s inception, but it’s gone to another level in recent years and it’s become much better supported. It’s become a Hayling Island institution.’

His brother David Elliott, 67, said: ‘I’ve lived in Canada for the past 40 years.

‘I’m over here visiting and there’s no way I would miss this – I’m very impressed, we don’t get this variety of beers back home.’

The festival is organised by the Hayling Island-Gorron Twinning Association.

Mr Carter added: ‘I can’t stress enough that I couldn’t do this without the team.’

 

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