Express & Star

Beer festival proves a hit once again in theatre

It was a weekend of coming together and enjoying a nice drink for hundreds of people attending a popular beer festival.

More than 45 beers were available to try at the festival

The eighth annual Cannock Beer Festival saw more than 500 people come to the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock town centre over three days to enjoy food, drink and entertainment.

Held from Thursday to Saturday, the CAMRA-sponsored event provided 45 cask ales, 10 ciders and perries, a bottle bar with a host of international beers and, for the first time, five key-kegs, with all attendees being given a festival glass and drink tokens on entry.

There was also hot and cold food, a raffle and tombola and entertainment from Riviera Live on the Friday and from the Magnificent Seven on the Saturday.

Chris Southall was pulling half-pints all weekend and said the event had been a success

Organiser Chris Southall said each day of the festival had been busy and that the drinks on offer had proven very popular.

He said: "We had around 120 people on the Thursday, which was really good, then around 280 on the Friday and we don't know yet how many attended on Saturday, but it was a busy day with a lot of familiar faces and some really positive feedback.

"We had a great range of beers on, with the most popular being Wildside Brewery's Brownie Hunter Stout, as well as, for the first time, five key-kegs, which started slowly, but we sold more as the weekend went on.

"I think most of the beer went and there was very little that we had to get rid off, plus all the cider went, and the food was supplied by an outside caterer and was very well received, so it was a really good weekend.

"The manager of the theatre really looked after us as well, giving us access from Monday to set up and then letting us have time afterwards to take everything down and let the suppliers pick up their equipment and CAMRA with the cooling equipment."

Scott Smith, Daz Plant, Matt Wilkes and Jimmy Adams enjoy some of the beers on offer

Mr Southall said the next step for the festival was to start attracting younger people and begin planning for future event.

He said: "We are hoping to start attracting more young people as CAMRA, by association, is always considered to be older people, so we need to look at what we can do to broaden our horizons.

"We will let the dust settle on this year first as we need to make a surplus, which means that CAMRA will give you permission to run a festival in their name and they want to be associated with successful festivals.

"The other seven we have held have all been successful and I don't think we've ever made a loss, so we're quite happy and I think we'll be ok for next year."

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