Raise a glass! Gosport’s premier beer festival prepares to celebrate 25th birthday

(L-r) Claudia Leischen, Bubba Fillmore, Kirsty Loveson and her partner Katie Loveson at 2016 Winterfest
(L-r) Claudia Leischen, Bubba Fillmore, Kirsty Loveson and her partner Katie Loveson at 2016 Winterfest

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A town is preparing to burst with flavour as the clock ticks down to the return of its premier beer festival.

Winterfest, brought to Gosport’s Thorngate Halls each year by the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, normally pulls in thousands of ale enthusiasts.

The success of Gosport beer festival is testament to the popularity of real ale and traditional cider and perry.

Camra activist, Nigel Firth-Penney

It’s a celebration of the finest ales along the south coast and beyond with lively entertainment to keep guests in good spirits.

But this year’s instalment of the popular event, being held on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25, is even more special as it marks its 25th birthday.

And it’s great news for festival-lovers as there will be more ale, cider, perry and bottled beers on offer than before.

Camra activist Nigel Firth-Penney said: ‘The success of Gosport beer festival is testament to the popularity of real ale and traditional cider and perry.

‘There are well over 1,000 breweries in the country and hundreds of cider makers; there’s never been a better time to be a real ale and cider drinker.’

More than 100 different beverages have already been earmarked for sale on beer lists compiled by busy event organisers.

The festival gets underway with a day session on the Friday from noon until 4pm. Friday’s evening session takes place from 6.30pm to 11pm.

Then beer lovers will be welcomed back on Saturday from 11.30am and again from 6.30pm and 11pm.

Nigel said: ‘Thorngate Halls is an idea venue for a beer festival, and people really enjoy going there.’

Ticket prices are different for each session; with Friday daytime costing £3, evening costing £9, Saturday day costs £9 and it’s £5 for Saturday evening.

Tickets are available from; Queens Hotel, Gosport, The Hole In The Wall, Southsea, Sir Loin of Beef, Eastney, The Wheatsheaf, Titchfield, and The Crofton, Stubbington.

Tickets can also be provided in the post.

Send a cheque, a stamped addressed envelope and a list of tickets required to;

PSEH CAMRA, 41 Kingsley Road, Southsea, Hants, PO4 8HJ.

Details will be released soon of the names of the music acts set to appear.

Friday’s daytime session will have no music so attendees can have a decent chat over a pint.

Camra staff have also put a shout out to volunteers in the branch who can help set up and run the festival.

If you’re a Camra member and interested, please log in to the pseh.camra.org.uk website and fill out a staffing form.