Beer festival will offer best of local products

Ian Gregory and Malcolm Irving of the Irving Brewery
Ian Gregory and Malcolm Irving of the Irving Brewery
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A SUMMER beer festival is set to return to Portsmouth this year.

Farlington’s Irving & Co Brewery is linking up with Leopold Tavern in Albert Road, for the event, which will form part of the Victorious Festival.

The festival takes place at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August.

Malcolm Irving, brewer and director of the firm, said: ‘Cask ale is becoming more and more popular among all age groups.

‘It used to be thought of as something older men enjoyed, but its popularity is burgeoning among young people, who want quality locally-sourced products so it’s really an ideal tie-in with the festival.’

The Leopold Tavern has long been a customer of Irvings’ products, with its landlord Stuart Ainsworth featuring its ales every week.

‘The Leopold now has 10 different, interesting beers all the time from different breweries,’ added Malcolm.

‘It’s one of the best pubs in Portsmouth.

‘People are more aware of how beer can be an artisan product.

‘With ciders, people are starting to look beyond the bigger brands and try new products made closer to home.’

Malcolm and Stuart have yet to finalise their list of beers and ciders for the festival. But they know they will include ales from the Oakleaf Brewery in Gosport, as well as ciders from Mr Whitehead’s Cider Company in Selborne, near Alton.

Malcolm added: ‘There’s a huge interest in locally-produced drinks.

‘Something the bigger festivals don’t tend to do is give as much of a choice of beers but we’re hopefully going to have 50 different beers and ciders from around the country, with two casks of each one. That’s a huge range.’

Malcolm said he hopes to get the chance to enjoy the festival, as well as spending the time bussing deliveries in to ensure the 36,000 visitors over both days are catered for.

‘I’m looking forward to it. It’s an ideal location. I went to the first incarnation of the festival last year at the dockyard.

‘It is a lovely venue, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to enjoy it.’

THERE will be a raft of bands and acts at the Victorious Festival.

Children’s favourite Peppa Pig will visit on both days, as well as circus acts and street performers.

For adults, Level 42 will be joined by The Feeling and the Brand New Heavies on the main stage on Saturday, August 24, with DJ Yoda and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs providing the beats in the indoor arena.

On Sunday, August 25, Maximo Park and Katy B will play the main stage, as will Welsh songstress Charlotte Church. Popular 90s band Reef will also be playing the stage as part of their 20th anniversary tour.

Mike Skinner, of The Streets, will be the late night DJ and The Cribs will be playing indoors.

There will be an acoustic arena featuring James Walsh from Starsailor on the Saturday and Mark Morriss of the Bluetones on Sunday.