Portsmouth Beer Festival gearing up for big return this weekend

Drinkers at the 2015 Portsmouth Beer Festival
Drinkers at the 2015 Portsmouth Beer Festival
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It’s helped lead a huge revival in the number of drinkers enjoying real ale.

And now the Portsmouth Beer Festival is gearing up for its third year, which organisers say could be the biggest one to date.

The craft beer bar is a nice addition because those beers are growing more and more popular. We are looking to appeal to as wide a beer drinking audience as possible.

Festival co-organiser Ben Miles

The occasion launches tomorrow evening at Portsmouth Guildhall from 6pm to 11pm.

More than 120 cask ales will run through the taps for hundreds of beer fans.

And new to the festival this year is a keg bar, with eight different beers that aren’t brewed in the traditional cask way.

A cider bar with varieties from around the country will also be on offer.

And there will be a prosecco bar for those who don’t fancy a cider or beer.

Friday night will also see guests being treated to performances from the likes of The Racketeers, Strumpet Town and The Flicks.

Then the festival comes back on Saturday afternoon from midday to 5pm, when there will performances from Mark Morriss, the singer from The Bluetones, and other acts.

Then the final session takes place that evening from 6pm to 11pm, featuring a gig by The Silver Beatles.

Festival co-organiser Ben Miles, part of the team behind Victorious Festival on Southsea Common, says he can’t wait.

He said: ‘This is our third year now. We’ve introduced a craft beer bar this time and added to the variety as well.

‘We are aiming to get bigger and better every year and it’s looking to be the best one so far.

‘We have been busy making preparations for the last six months, chatting to breweries across the UK to find new beers, because we like to keep the beer list fresh as much as we can.

‘But we’re also keen to showcase the local breweries as well.

‘The craft beer bar is a nice addition because those beers are growing more and more popular. We are looking to appeal to as wide a beer-drinking audience as possible.

‘The real ale and craft ale sector is booming in the UK and has seen a resurgence in the last five or six years.

‘Pubs appear to be doing better because of it which is good news.

‘And it’s good because there are beer festivals up and down the country now as well.’

Tickets for all sessions cost £10 each, excluding a small booking fee. It comes with a festival glass, a programme and a beer. Tickets can be bought from Little Johnny Russell’s in Albert Road, Southsea, The Leopold Tavern, in Albert Road, Meat and Barrel, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, Portsmouth Guildhall box office or from portsmouthbeerfestival.wordpress.com/