THIS Friday will see the return of a beer festival with more than 80 ales and cider on offer.
Tickets are quickly running out for the Gosport Winter Beer Festival, run by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which aims to give ale lovers a treat.
It starts on Friday at Thorngate Halls in Bury Road with the first afternoon session in its 21-year history running from 2pm to 5pm – for just £5.
There are limited tickets available for the popular Friday evening session from 6.30pm to 11pm, with live music provided by band Swinging the Lead.
And the Saturday lunchtime session from 11am to 3.30pm has already sold out.
But there is still a chance to grab tickets for the final session on Saturday night, from 6.30pm to 11pm with music from band Doghouse.
Portsmouth and south east Camra branch chairman Geoff Marsh said he as looking forward to welcoming people to try the ales – and hopes they will go on to support local pubs.
He said: ‘We get people travelling here from out of the area.
‘It will promote real ale and if they like it then they can try it in the pub and support their pubs.
‘The pub is part of the community and we’re losing far too many because they’re undercut by supermarkets.’
The festival sold out last year, with organisers predicting the tickets for this year’s ale celebration will soon be gone.
Beer-lovers keen to sample a wide variety of the drinks on offer can also get hot and cold food.
Mr Marsh added that although beer will take centre stage, the festival is always a social occasion.
He said: ‘It’s always a friendly atmosphere.
‘People can relax, enjoy themselves and enjoy a few beers they’ve never tried before.’
Tickets for all sessions except the £5 afternoon cost £9 and include a programme, festival glass and a half pint of beer up to 4.8 per cent ABV, along with a £1 beer token for Camra members. They are available from The Brewpot, in North Cross Street, Gosport.
Visit psehcamra.org.uk for a full list of ticket sellers.