Records broken at the 10th annual Twyford Beer Festival as crowds flock to enjoy the brews

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YOU DRANK the bar dry.

This year’s Twyford Beer Festival – the 10th – was the biggest yet, seeing record attendances and the largest ever amount to be donated to charity.

Held at Stanlake Meadows for the first time, hundreds of beer lovers came together to enjoy a wide mixture of real ales, perries and ciders, plus unusual gins, rare wines and a wide range of soft drinks.

Food stalls included tasty takeaways from Indian restaurant Haweii and a barbecue from the Duke of Wellington.

And despite the threat of rain, the largest-ever number of people visited the beer tent to enjoy the day.

Organiser Ian Wisdom said: “We broke our records, and had our best figure ever. I can’t say how much we have raised for Orchid Cancer charity yet, but it will be in excess of £6,000.

“We were absolutely through the rafters with customers, ultimately, we were a victim of our own success, the record crowds emptied the beer barrels faster that we could anticipate.

“The barrels were coming off sale faster than we could put the new ones up, we were just overwhelmed.”

And the festival even ran out towards the end of Saturday. It could have spelt disaster but local brewer Chris Bingham, from Binghams Brewery, rode to the rescue.

“Chris was a star. He delivered more supplies for us which enabled us to keep serving more lovely beer,” Mr Wisdom said.

It wasn’t the only issue over the weekend. Blustery conditions on the Saturday meant that three gazebos were gone with the wind, while the generator was a tad temperamental.

“But there were plenty of smiley face,” he added.

One of the things that makes the Twyford Beer Festival special is the core volunteer team that help make the event happen. Everyone donates their time and energy into serving the beer.

“I’m so grateful for everyone who helped,” Mr Wisdom said. “My volunteer team performed exceptionally well and above and beyond all expectations of them, putting in very long hours.

“And the overnight security team, whose job was just to keep the site safe, helped significantly with packing up the festival. When I came along on Sunday morning, they’d already so much work, they did clear up the site and helped with litter picking, all off their own backs.

“They’ve wonderful, all of them.”

The event had a serious purpose, raising awareness as well as funds for Orchid, which helps men who have testicular, prostate and penile cancer. A team from the charity, including CEO Rebecca Porta, came along to witness the fun.

“They were very impressed with how we ran the festival,” Mr Wisdom said.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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