Raise a glass as Portsea Island Beer Festival kicks off

Malcolm Irving of Portsmouth brewery Irving & Co Brewers Ltd at last year's festival
Malcolm Irving of Portsmouth brewery Irving & Co Brewers Ltd at last year's festival
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BEER lovers are set to flock to the Groundlings Theatre this weekend.

The seventh Portsea Island Beer Festival will be taking place tomorrow and Saturday at the theatre in Curzon Howe Road, Portsmouth.

A total of 50 cask ales will be on show from across the UK, with many coming from local breweries.

Live music and food will also be available as the event looks to raise money for charity in the process.

The event is organised by city-based brewery Irving and Co Brewers Ltd.

According to festival organiser Malcolm Irving, this year’s event is shaping up to be the best one yet.

He said: ‘Truth be told, I am very excited for this weekend.

‘All of the beers and ciders are set up and so I just have a few last-minute checks to do.

‘By that of course, I mean I need to taste as many beers as I can before everyone else arrives!

‘We have 40 different beers and 10 ciders at the festival this year – all of which come from all over the United Kingdom.

‘Some of these drinks are coming from as far away as Scotland, with many others coming from much closer to home.

‘All of these drinks vary in strength as well. We have some very light ales that are about 3.5 per cent, and others that are imperial stout, so there really will be something for everyone.’

According to Malcolm, the festival is a celebration of tastes from the local area and beyond – but is not without a great cause behind it.

He said: ‘The whole weekend is designed to raise money for charity.

‘This year we are supporting the Rainbow centre in Fareham, Motiv8 and Rowans Hospice – which we have supported every year.

‘That, I suppose, is the main message behind the event; come along to enjoy the beer and have a good time, but feel good for raising money at the same time.’

Portsea Island Beer Festival is being held from 12-4pm and 6-11pm tomorrow and Saturday.

Tickets cost £8 per person and can be purchased on the door of the theatre upon arrival.