TODAY & TOMORROW: Two days of great beer, gins, wines, perries, ciders and music at Twyford Beer Festival

Volunteer-run charity event runs in Stanlake Park Meadows from 5pm on Friday and noon on Saturday

TWO days of great beer, music and food are promised thanks to organisers of a popular beer festival.

This year, the Twyford Beer Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a change of venue and some exclusive pint glasses,

Taking place at Stanlake Meadow Recreation Ground tomorrow and Saturday, the event attracts thousands of people.

And to meet demand, the site this year is bigger and better with new additions including a gin bar. Payments can also be made by credit and debit cards as well as cash and visitors buy tokens from the front desk to make it quicker to get pints from the bar.

Tomorrow’s (Friday) first session will include an opportunity to meet the brewers, ask them questions and learn more about the craft of creating real ale.

And on both days there will be live music and entertainment to enjoy as well as an opportunity to meet volunteers from Orchid, the male cancer charity that the event is held for.

The event features a wide range of real ales, ciders, perries and wines, as well as gins and soft drinks. And where possible, the festival uses local breweries such as Ascot Brewery, who will supply beers such as the stout Anatasia, IPA Gold Cup and an extra pale ale Shadowfax.

Twyford-based Binghams Brewery is a big supporter of the event and will be bringing five beers including Vanilla Stout and its Viennese Whirl.

Bond Brews, from Wokingham, will supply Best Of British, Railway Porter and Kiwi Pale, among others.

And Stardust brewery will be serving its English Bitter, Easy Pale Citra and a Motion IPA.

This just scratches the surface of the real ale list – and if that isn’t your thing, there will be lager on tap from the New Wharfs brewery.

Ciders include a wide selection brewed by Tutts Clump, including Berkshire Diamond which is made from hand-picked apples, and Jazz, which is made from Kentish jazz apples. Its Rhubarb and Mango ciders contain appropriate fruits, and it also has a traditional farmhouse.

A big new feature this year is a gin bar, featuring Aber falls orange marmalade, Tanquery sevilla, Whitley Neill rhubarb & ginger, City of London dry gin and Romero, among others. A pink gin is also planned. The wine bar will include a carefully picked prosecco, a rose and two whites.

Music on Friday night will be from alt-folk rockers Dandy Man and soul and rock classics covers band Within The Blood.

On Saturday, the music starts from 1pm with Rumpo Kidz, then a 60s Pop and Soul Review with Ian from The Shakers at 3pm. The final band of the day is Rushkeeper, who take on classic and modern music to create their own sounds.

Staffed by volunteers, the event is a lot of fun, but has a serious purpose too: every penny raised goes to Orchid, a charity that specialises in male cancers. Even the bands are donating their time to ensure that the event is a success.

In recent years, the team behind Festival have raised more than £10,000 from Twyford, plus running bars at Wokingham Festival, Twyford Parish Fete and Hurst’s Party in the Park. This year they are looking to beat it.

Ian Wisdom, who is the chief organiser, said: “It’s just £5 to get in. That includes a limited edition glasses, and they are very popular – once they’re gone they’re gone.”

Being family-friendly, Mr Wisdom said that the festival attracts a wide mixture of people and drinks menu is suitable for all tastes.

“There will be lots of choice on offer this year and our meet the brewer event on Friday is good fun.

“We welcomed Stardust Brewery for the first time last year. We’re proud to have them I like to support the smaller breweries where we can.

“I’ve ordered good stocks of beer to last us for the weekend – we should have enough but if supplies are running low, we can get some emergency supplies sent to us.

“And all the bands are donating their time for free so we can raise more money for Orchid. We’re really grateful to them.”

He added: “We have a very committed team of volunteers who all work their socks off to make the festival so popular. They know what Orchid means to me as a charity – I’ve told them enough times! I’m delighted that a team from the charity will be on site to meet our guests.”

Twyford Beer Festival is open from 5pm to 11pm on Friday and noon to 10pm on Saturday. Entry is £5. For more details, log on to www.twyfordbeerfest.co.uk

 

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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