Beer festival on board historic warship sees success for breweryÂ
Craft beer, dinosaurs, and a 19th Century warship may not seem a likely grouping, but WarriorFest is clearly doing something right as it returned to Portsmouth for the second time '” enjoying a crowd twice as large as its inaugural year.Â
Staggeringly Good, the Portsmouth-based brewery behind the festival, had a range of their unique dinosaur-themed craft beers on sale, alongside drinks from 24 breweries, all served onboard HMS Warrior.
Last year's one-day festival saw over 600 beer aficionados in attendance, with this year expanding to cover two days, accommodating over 1,200 thirsty fans.
This year's tickets sold out in 24 hours, with tickets for the Saturday selling out in less than 12 hours.
'˜It's been bonkers,'Â said Joe Ross, one of Staggeringly Good's three founders.Â
'˜It's been a lot of hard work over the last eightÂ months to put together the festival, but its been completely worth it.'
The festival saw HMS Warrior, a 420ft iron-hulled battleship built in 1860, become a floating tap house with six different bars.
Joe said: '˜No other venue comes close. The venue is pretty special. It limits our capacity, but this isn't a money-making exercise. We really want it to be a special experience.'Â
Originally founded by three friends with a passion for home brewing, Staggeringly Good began as a dinosaur-themed beer for a stag-doÂ on the Jurassic Coast.
Joe, Jon Chapman, and Russ Cox took their beer to a friend's pub, and now, three years later, the business sells over 20,000 litres across the south of England.
The brewery has come a long way from its original '˜shoe-string budget'Â as Joe describes it, and the three friends have big plans for expansion.
'˜We're struggling to meet demand,' Joe said.
'˜And there's only so long you can disappoint people.Â We want to expand the brewery so we can sell our beer further afield and to more people.'Â
Fresh from the success of WarriorFest, Staggeringly Good is seeking investment in order to expand their brewery and distribution channels.
'˜We're listening to people who want to register an interest, and we'll be accepting investment from August. We're hoping to raise a six-figure sum. In return, investors will have a share in the whole company,'Â Joe said.Â
He said that although the team are exhausted after the festivities, they're alreadyÂ planning another.Â