Bottoms up for pub’s beer festival as first day gets off to a tasty start

Hannah Carver serves Mark Bingham, 32, from Gosport.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9845)
Hannah Carver serves Mark Bingham, 32, from Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9845)
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ALE lovers were ‘bashing at the door’ of a community pub to get their first taste from the taps as a popular Easter beer festival kicked-off.

Dozens of punters poured into The Junction Tavern, in Gosport, yesterday to join the opening day of the bash.

Back from left, Sam Carscadden, 46, Kerry Stirling, 43, Paula Darrington, 49, Lesa Carmichael, 43, Kimberley Howting, 36, Grace Bingham, nine, Karen Bingham, 49, Emily Bingham, 19 and front, Zoe Henderson, 39

Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9868)

Back from left, Sam Carscadden, 46, Kerry Stirling, 43, Paula Darrington, 49, Lesa Carmichael, 43, Kimberley Howting, 36, Grace Bingham, nine, Karen Bingham, 49, Emily Bingham, 19 and front, Zoe Henderson, 39 Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9868)

The Leesland Road boozer packed out its pumps with a selection of about 15 ales from across the country.

And all the action is set to continue over the weekend, with the occasion seeing up to 20 different real ales being available.

The festival, now in its seventh year, is the brainchild of the pub’s landlady, Deana Geary.

Deana said: ‘Every year it just gets bigger and bigger.

Landlady Deana Geary Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9838)

Landlady Deana Geary Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9838)

‘I am so lucky that the community gives me so much support.

‘We had them banging on the door at 11am to get in.

‘I’m absolutely thrilled to bits at how the festival has gone so far.

‘When I took over the pub seven years ago it was boarded up but now it’s really doing well.’

Mark Hall pulls a pint

Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9850)

Mark Hall pulls a pint Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9850)

Deana, who was a barmaid at the venue when she was 18, added: ‘I have had a life-long love affair with the pub. I’m like part of the furniture.’

The occasion first came to life after real ale fans at The Junction Tavern called for more beer to be served.

Deena made necessary changes by installing more cask ale pumps at the venue.

Since then, there has been a boom in sales and ale goes down a treat.

Mark Bleasby, 47, and Martin Bordley, 44, from Gosport.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9858)

Mark Bleasby, 47, and Martin Bordley, 44, from Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9858)

The success of the pub’s Easter beer festival has prompted it to hold a summer version in recent years,

Jamie Braithwaite has been a regular for 15 years.

The 47-year-old, of Gosport, said the real ale festival was a boost for the area and helped put his local on the map.

‘Deana has turned this pub right around now,’ he said. ‘It’s going from strength to strength and is now like a mecca for ale drinkers.

‘It’s not only that the bar is nice, there is a really good atmosphere. It’s not the sort of place where people drink to get drunk.

‘They can come in and try a load of different real ales.

David Sutton, 71, from Gosport, left, and Johan Freij, 59, from Sweden. 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9869)

David Sutton, 71, from Gosport, left, and Johan Freij, 59, from Sweden. Picture: Sarah Standing (170500-9869)

‘The festival puts this place on the map.’

The action is continuing today and tomorrow, with 20 different real ales from across the country available to try.

The selection ranges from fruity brews and vanilla stouts to ruby milds, traditional ales and golden session ales.

For more details, call (023) 9258 5140.