Ale lovers pack out the Portsmouth Guildhall for Christmsas beer festival

BEER was flowing by the gallon at Portsmouth's Beer Festival's Christmas Session.

Sunday, 18th December 2016, 6:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:01 pm
From left, Lin and Kevin Garwood and Sally and Tony Kerr at Portsmouth Christmas Beer Festival Picture: Habibur Rahman (161677-610)

There were more than 100 cask ales including IPAs, pales, porters and stouts for any beer connoisseurs and mulled cider for those who wanted to get into the festive spirit at Portsmouth Guildhall.

The beer festival has become a regular fixture and is put together by the team in charge of events such as Victorious Festival and Oktoberfest which took over Guildhall Square for a weekend in October.

There were also performances from music tribute acts Fleetingwood Mac and soul sisters The Fliks.

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Hannah Fletcher pours a pint Picture: Habibur Rahman (161677-607)

The Christmas sessions is an extension of the main Portsmouth Beer Festival held in May each year.

It was revived by the Victorious team after the event was previously axed in 2010 due to a lack of funding and support

Ben Miles, organiser of the event, said: ‘It went really well and it is great to put something on at this time of year.

‘As long as people keep enjoying them, we’ll continue to put on events like this.’

Friends enjoying a drink Picture: Habibur Rahman (161677-608)

Tiff Gaskell, operations manager, said she felt the nerves before the festival started: ‘This is my favourite beer festival we put on.

‘It is always full of atmosphere being so close to Christmas. We get a lot of work parties coming down and it gets everyone into the festive spirit.

‘The prosecco we sell is really popular – it’s nice to have some bubbly at this time of year!’

Money from the Christmas festival, which was launched in 2014, will be donated to Samuel’s Fund and The Thunder Foundation, which supports needy children in Kenya.

Hannah Fletcher pours a pint Picture: Habibur Rahman (161677-607)

There were local breweries selling their products. Fallen Acorn, formerly Oakleaf Brewery, in Gosport, had its new range on sale, as well as Southsea Brewing Company.

Customers were also given the opportunity to win themselves free pints by taking part in funfair style games.

Pete Sommerville, from Fareham said: ‘The event is really good and the selection of beer that they have on offer is incredible.’

Mike Wilkie, from Southsea, attends the Christmas beer festival every year.

Friends enjoying a drink Picture: Habibur Rahman (161677-608)

He said: ‘I think this year they have had the best beer selection on offer.’

Gary Ward, from Horndean, said: ‘The festival is different to when it was previously put on by Camra because there are a lot of younger people here.’