Popular Wickham beer festival returns after two years as sell-out crowd enjoys variety of tipples

A POPULAR beer festival marked its return after two years away with a sell-out crowd.

By Steve Deeks
Sunday, 10th October 2021, 11:49 am
The Wickham Beer Festival taking place at The Wickham Centre in Wickham. Pictured is from left, organisers Gary Martin and Mike Betts. Picture: Sam Stephenson

The 23rd Wickham Charity Beer Festival was back almost two years to the day the last beer was served at the popular bi-annual event amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

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The event, taking place at Wickham Community Centre in Mill Lane, saw 600 people attend across day and evening sessions as revellers enjoyed a delicious range of tipples from local breweries.

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The Wickham Beer Festival taking place at The Wickham Centre in Wickham. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Gary Martin, co-organiser, said: ‘We’ve had a sell-out for the festival which we are very pleased about.

‘We are happy to be back after Covid which meant we missed three of our events. This should be our 26th event but is only our 23rd.

‘We would like to thank everyone who attended our last festival and to our sponsors and suppliers.

‘We are delighted to welcome them all back and are very pleased to support our local breweries which helped make this event possible.

‘We had to limit the number of tickets this year to allow for social distancing.’

The festival has raised more than £135,000 for charity since it started in 2008, with £5,000 raised at the last festival alone.

It is hoped this year’s event will bring in another welcome cash boost with money to be donated to The Rainbow Centre in Fareham and The Men’s Shed in Bishop’s Waltham.

Money will also go towards the Wickham Community Centre.

Mike Betts, co-organiser, said: ‘We have sold out the festival on our return so are hoping for a successful event that will raise money for our chosen charities and the community centre.

‘We enjoy the event and raising money and giving something back to the community.’

Punters were happy to see the festival return. Matt Hyatt, 41, was among those in good spirits at the event being rekindled. ‘It’s been very good, a cracking afternoon,’ he said.

‘It’s been two years since the last event so it is good to be back and start getting back to some normality

‘There’s a wide range of beers and it’s good to try a few of the local breweries.

‘It’s good fun and good to do your bit for the community.’

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