HUNDREDS of beer lovers descended upon the Guildhall last night as Portsmouth Beer Festival got underway.
The two-day ode to fine ales and beer got started in style as party-goers got through their fair share, tasting a variety of offerings from across the country.
A huge selection of more than 100 cask ales, ciders, craft beers, gins and wine were on offer for punters with many expanding their drinking palette with new flavours.
Graham Petrie, from Portsmouth is a regular at the festival who says the combined effect of good live music and a strong selection of ales keeps him coming back.
He said: ‘I’m a big fan. There’s such a wide collection of beers and ales that are all of a high quality each time and the live music is also top notch.
‘The standard is set really high and this festival just seems to meet that every time with what they offer.’
I’m a big fan. There’s such a wide collection of beers and ales that are all of a high quality each time and the live music is also top notch.Graham Petrie
Chas Carpenter, also from Portsmouth added: ‘It’s good fun. A really good way to end the week with beer and friends and to have a quality Friday night.’
Stefany Guala and Angela Norman were newcomers at the festival.
The duo from Melbourne, Australia, who now live in Southsea and work at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham said they had heard ‘great things’ about the festival and headed down to see what the fuss was all about.
Angela, 25 said: ‘A lot of people at work had mentioned how good it was so we thought we would come down and give it a go. It’s a really good atmosphere and we’re hoping to have a great night.’
Neither would class themselves as beer-lovers but said they would have their fair share of the beers on offer over the course of the evening.
Stefany, 26 added: ‘We are going to give it a go and get a real mix of the beers that are on offer.’
Fellow festival newcomer Zak Hall, 18, from Portsmouth added: ‘I’ve loved what I’ve had so far, there’s a great range of beers and I’m sure it will be a good night!’
Punters were also delighted to see the arrival of a new gin bar and a wine bar to increase the variety of alcohol on offer.
The prosecco bar also made its return with funds collected over the course of the evening for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association.
To meet the needs of those looking to wet their appetite, the usual foodie favourites were also provided in the form of a hog roast, BBQs and pizza.
Live entertainment was provided on the night by Portsmouth-based Kojak’s Revenge with The Tiddley Kinks – a tribute to Ray Davies and the Kinks – set to top today’s afternoon bill and favourites The Silver Beatles will close the proceedings this evening.
Tickets for today’s afternoon and evening session can still be booked. To do so, head to portsmouthbeerfestival.wordpress.com.tickets