Tasty tipples, a winning pint and folk music entertainment all combined to make Hucknall’s annual Beer Festival a resounding success.
The John Godber Centre was packed to capacity as those people looking for something different gathered at the Ogle Street venue.
The event has become a firm favourite for the town’s residents and those who travel from further afield and is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the community centre.
“Over 1,000 people came across the weekend creating a brilliant atmosphere and we even had a minibus of people arrive from Manchester and a group from Lancashire on the Saturday.” said centre manager Kim Pears. “It is the highlight of our year. I love all the events we organise at the centre but the Beer Festival is very special.
“A lot of hours go into its planning and execution and as tired as we are at the end of it, it’s great to see so many people involved.”
This is the third festival held at the centre under Kim’s leadership and is is growing in popularity.
“They keep getting better and better and as we were the only CAMRA beer festival this weekend-it certainly increased our attendance figures,” added Kim. “In previous years Friday night has always been our most popular but this year there was a shift to the Saturday.”
Coun Lachlan Morrison, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, attended the event and said it had become one of Hucknall’s success stories: “The festival gets bigger and better every year. It is an event Hucknall can be very proud of.”
The festival was preceded on Friday by a craft fair and food market but the weather affected trade.
“Unfortunately the high winds did affect the turnout to the fair,” explained Kim. “This was disappointing as there were some lovely stalls but the bad weather didn’t keep the real ale drinkers away on the Friday evening.”
This year’s festival was a specially memorable event for town resident Darren Buxton.
Darren (33) won a competition, organised by Hucknall’s Lincoln Green Brewery, to create a unique beer which was launched at the festival.
The 4.3 per cent-strength brew, named Torkard Tipple, was described as ‘looking dark but with all the flavour and aroma of a pale ale’. Darren said: “I had a lot of fun producing the Torkard Tipple and people who tried the beer said they enjoyed it.”
Seven other Lincoln Green ales were on offer with a total of 63 beers and five ciders in total with brewers and cider makers from as far afield as Cheshire, Somerset and North Wales.
“We sold all 140 pints of Darren’s brew and it proved a popular drink,” added Kim. “We’re very grateful to Lincoln Green for helping to organise the competition and brew.
“This event is always our largest fundraiser of the year and the 2014 festival was certainly the best we’ve ever done and I’d like to thank all the different people who made it possible. This includes CAMRA, John Croasdale, the Riley family, Rob Dabell, Hucknall Rotary, Lincoln Green Brewery, the John Godber Centre team, St Mary Magdalene Church and all the volunteers who supported us this weekend.
“There are so many people that work behind the scenes to put this whole event together and there’s a lot of planning that goes into the event that a lot of people don’t realise, everything takes time, planning, dedication and support to create an event such as this.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who helped us this weekend.”