Portsmouth Christmas beer spectacle set to make its return

The Portsmouth Beer Festival 'Christmas Sessions'  are returning
The Portsmouth Beer Festival 'Christmas Sessions' are returning
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The dust has only just settled on Portsmouth’s Oktoberfest spectacle.

But soon the city centre will stage another hugely popular event.

Last year, I walked around and spoke to the punters, and everyone, apart from being in the Christmas spirit, was in the beer festival spirit. Everyone was having a great time.

Beer festival co-organiser Ben Miles

Portsmouth Beer Festival’s Christmas Sessions makes its return to the Guildhall on Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17.

The event has gone from strength to strength since being brought to life by the organisers of Victorious Festival – who along with Mutiny bosses were responsible for the Bavarian-inspired beer bash that came to Guildhall Square last weekend.

Portsmouth Beer Festival is held in May each year and a Christmas version with festive drinks and entertainment is staged in December to get everyone in the party mood.

It will be a stellar showcase of ales – with more than 100 cask varieties on offer.

Plus there will be a cider bar with mulled drinks for those who want to get in the festive spirit and fancy something different.

Festival co-organiser Ben Miles said preparations are under way.

He said: ‘Last year was a big improvement on the first Christmas festival. It’s proved popular.

‘Last year, I walked around and spoke to the punters, and everyone, apart from being in the Christmas spirit, was in the beer festival spirit. Everyone was having a great time.

‘It’s a great opportunity to get Christmas off to a great start.

‘We have got a lot of group bookings and a lot of work parties have shown interest.’

The action gets under way on the Friday at 6pm and runs to 11pm.

A Saturday day-time session takes place from midday to 5pm and the evening session is from 6pm to 11pm.

Live music will be provided on the Friday from Chic and Nile Rodgers tribute Le Freak.

Soul sisters The Flikes will wow crowds during the day on Saturday and evening spectators will be treated to a performance from tribute act Fleetingwood Mac.

Lots of local acts will feature throughout.

Chosen charity The Thunder Foundation will raise cash through giant-sized pub games.

The foundation supports children in Kenya and has provided for a school offering free education, uniforms, health cover and food for students.

Plus punters can sample different foods to accompany their beers and vegetarian options will be on offer.

Tickets cost £10.50 and the price gets you a souvenir glass, programme and beer token.

Tickets are available at portsmouthbeerfestival.co.uk as well as Meat & Barrel in Palmerston Road, Southsea, and Little Johnny Russells, in Albert Road, Southsea.