Cheers! Ale drinkers toast success of Winterfest beer festival in Gosport

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BEER drinkers have been enjoying a range of ales at a popular festival.

The Gosport Beer Festival, called Winterfest, took place this weekend at Thorngate Halls.

BEST ALE Dave Pelley pulls the pints at the Gosport Beer Festival ' Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (150255-2)

BEST ALE Dave Pelley pulls the pints at the Gosport Beer Festival ' Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (150255-2)

The annual festival is run by the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

There were four sessions in total – two afternoon and two evening sessions on Friday and Saturday and people travelled from all over the area to attend.

Claire Smith, 37, is from Fareham. She said: ‘It’s the social aspect. You can try different beers and ciders.

‘It’s a nice atmosphere where you can be with other people. It went really well. Everybody enjoyed themselves.’

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  David Blaikie of CAMRA serves committee member Nigel Firth-Penney.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-3) PPP-150220-153437003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), David Blaikie of CAMRA serves committee member Nigel Firth-Penney.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-3) PPP-150220-153437003

Simon Millington, 38, from Waterlooville, added: ‘We have been before. We like the beer and it’s a nice atmosphere.’

Joan and Brian Dell, from Wickham, have been coming to the festival for years.

Joan, 70, said: ‘It’s one of the few festivals where you can get really good beers and in particular, ciders.

‘We come every year. We have grown old with this festival. We have been coming as long as the festival has been going.

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  Rodney Simpson, Lorraine Barrow, and Colin Grierson.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-4) PPP-150220-153524003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), Rodney Simpson, Lorraine Barrow, and Colin Grierson.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-4) PPP-150220-153524003

‘It’s friendly and you get to talk to young people. It’s just a really lovely atmosphere. And they have some really interesting music.’

Entertainment on Saturday was provided by ukelele group the Stokes Bay Strummers and the five piece acoustic band The M27s.

Brian Hawkins, 70, came down from Woking to attend the festival.

He said: ‘It’s very good. There is a wide range of beers which is the most important part.

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  Kieron Mortimer and Steve Copple. [07872488642]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-5) PPP-150220-153510003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), Kieron Mortimer and Steve Copple. [07872488642]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-5) PPP-150220-153510003

‘It’s a nice location. It’s a nice day out.’

There were more than 80 beers on offer from 70 different breweries.

Martyn Constable is one of the organisers of the festival. He said: ‘Lots of people came in drinking lots of beers from around the country.

‘We’ve got a good range of ciders and perries. People have come along and had a good time.

‘They like to drink good quality stuff that’s not mass produced.’

Ollie Sandercock, another of the organisers, added: ‘It’s a great atmosphere, it’s good music and really good beer as well which is one of the main reasons they 
come.

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  Phil Coulter and his partner Claire Gilmour.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-7) PPP-150220-153624003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), Phil Coulter and his partner Claire Gilmour.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-7) PPP-150220-153624003

‘The majority of the beers here are local and hand picked so we know they are very tasty beers and people will enjoy them. It’s really good.’

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  Taff Flint, Mike McKibbens and Pete Garratt.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-8) PPP-150220-153639003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), Taff Flint, Mike McKibbens and Pete Garratt.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-8) PPP-150220-153639003

20/02/15  MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right),  Ray Lasseter and Peter Jackson of CAMRA.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-9) PPP-150220-153653003

20/02/15 MO''Members of CAMRA and local enthusiasts enjoy an afternoon drink at the Gosport Winterfest Real Ale Festival which was held at Thorngate Halls. (left to right), Ray Lasseter and Peter Jackson of CAMRA.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (150255-9) PPP-150220-153653003