Thousands quaff the lot at the 25th Winterfest event

From the left are David Bunt, 52. from Bognor Regis and Paul Dyer, 42, from Lee-on-the-Solent   Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7667)
From the left are David Bunt, 52. from Bognor Regis and Paul Dyer, 42, from Lee-on-the-Solent Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7667)

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PUNTERS continued to flock to a popular beer festival over the weekend as ales were consumed by the gallon.

Winterfest enticed in thousands of thirsty customers into Gosport’s Thorngate Halls, in Bury Road, over the weekend.

Geoff Marsh, volunteer.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7639)

Geoff Marsh, volunteer. Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7639)

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in Thorngate Halls, the beer festival is organised by Portsmouth Camra – Campaign For Real Ale – and its Saturday afternoon session was a sellout.

There were more than 80 real ales, ciders and perrys available to customers, with the majority from the local area.

Nigel Firth-Penney, branch cider representative for Portsmouth Camra was delighted with the turnout.

Nigel said: ‘This is a place where people can come down and try all of the lovely flavours on offer.

Volunteer Grant Day. 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7643)

Volunteer Grant Day. Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7643)

‘You see a lot of people coming back every year – as well as a lot of new faces which is always great.’

Kieron Mortimer, membership secretary, said: ‘The festival has been really good.

‘It was well attended over the two days and there has been a really good atmosphere. ‘People have been coming down for years and years. It is a social event and people know that they are going to have a good time.’

The first beer to sell out was Hole Hearted, brewed by Fallen Acorn – formerly known as Oakleaf Brewery – who are based in Mumby Road, Gosport.

Patrick Miller (60) from Gosport.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7656)

Patrick Miller (60) from Gosport. Picture: Sarah Standing (170270-7656)

The money raised from the event will go to Gosport and Fareham Inshore Lifeboat Service (Gafirs).

David Paine, chairman of Portsmouth Camra said: ‘This is my home beer festival. I can go to others but this is the most important one for me.

‘We want to promote everyone going to the pub and do not like big chains putting pubs out of business.

‘It is nice to see the Hole Hearted sell out and all of the local community supporting it.’

John Stockham, 71, from Southsea, was attending Winterfest with his son Ryan, 41, for the first time.

John said: ‘It has been brilliant – I couldn’t get tickets to come last year.

‘For me, this is better than the one that they put on in Portsmouth Guildhall as there seems to be more local beers being sold.’

Matt Crook, 52, said: ‘Winterfest is always well organised.

‘There is a great selection of beers and there is always good entertainment.’