Saturday, 18 September 2021

Women raise £2,000 after reviving village beer festival

PINTS flowed as more than 150 people attended the Wargrave Beer Festival.

PINTS flowed as more than 150 people attended the Wargrave Beer Festival.

There were 10 real ales on offer at the charity event held at Woodclyffe Hall in High Street on Friday.

They varied from the 3.5 per cent Ankle Tap by the Gloucester Brewery to the 5.5 per cent America Brown Ale, brewed by the Prescott Brewery in Cheltenham.

Also on sale were the unusually named Going Off Half-Cocked and Shagweaver as well as wine and soft drinks.

There was food including hot dogs served by villager Tim Brady.

Each visitor was given a souvenir half-pint glass and four beer tokens and they could buy more tokens on the night.

The beers were sponsored by local businesses, including Val Wyatt Marine and Spice Lounge, and residents.

The festival, which was last held in 2014, was run by the Wargrave Wanderers, a group of five women who are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support with a series of fund-raising events. They are Caroline Atkinson, Charlotte Taylor, Mandy Doward, Gill Jennings and Rosie Hancock.

Mrs Taylor said: “It went really well. We sold well over 100 tickets in advance of the festival and many more turned up on the day.

“We weren’t quite drunk dry — the Shagweaver beer was the first to go but we also had a lot of empty plastic bottles so we could sell off a lot of the beer at the end of the night for people to take away with them.

“We raised at least the £2,000 and may well reach £2,500. We are all very proud — it’s much nicer to do something like this than going round asking for sponsorship cap in hand.”

The women are to take part in the Isle of Wight Challenge, a two-day, 100km walk around the island on April 30 and May 1.

They have previously raised about £5,000 by completing the Grand Union Challenge, a 50km walk along the Grand Union Canal, in 2014 and the 26-mile London Trekathon last year.

The beer festival used to be run as part of the biennial village festival and was taken over by the Wanderers, who were then known as the Wargrave Wrinklies, in 2014.

Ian Wild, who organised the first festival, helped select the beers for Friday’s event and also attended.

Mrs Taylor said: “The costs were relatively low for the festival because the beer was sponsored by local businesses and Tim provided the food free of charge.

“The feedback was tremendous. Everybody thought it was a fun event. As always, the men were happy with a beer, hot dog and their friends!

“We were able to have a few glasses of wine ourselves but not too much as we had to clear up.

“We also didn’t manage a training walk over the weekend so this weekend we will be doing two 15-mile walks around Nettlebed.”

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