MORE than 500 people flocked to the Redditch Winter Ales Festival which made a welcome return after a break of two years.
The event – at the Rocklands Social Club in Headless Cross last Friday and Saturday (February 6 and 7) – was organised by the Redditch and Bromsgrove branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale).
During the two days, more than 2,200 pints of ale, along with 260 pints of cider, were drank.
The joint beers of the festival were the Ambridge Jester, Shed’s Spotted Cock and Saltaire’s Elderflower Blonde and the cider of the festival went to Green Valley’s Rum Tiddly Tum.
John Nowacki, the head brewer at Ambridge, said it was great to see the event back on the calendar.
“It’s fantastic to be here – we have been promoting English hops as a lot of brewers these days use American ones.
“Not a lot of people know that here in Worcestershire we grow more hops than anywhere else in the UK.
David Gillespie was there with his wife Linda and two of their friends.
“It’s a really nice event – there’s a wonderful atmosphere here.
“We have all the politicians saying people should not drink because it leads to bad behaviour but I’ve been to a lot of beer festivals and there’s never been any trouble.”
The Redditch Winter Ales Festival also saw seven people join CAMRA.
One of them was Ian Stewart from Coventry.
He said: “I have been to a few beer festivals, but it’s the first time I have been to this one.
“I have always thought about joining CAMRA but never got around to it.
“It’s great to finally be a member.”
As well as food and drink on offer, the event also raised £180 for charity.
Zoe’s Place – the region’s only hospice specifically for babies – will benefit from the donations.
Fund-raiser Leanne Hawkes, who is undertaking a Great Wall of China Trek later on in the year, was representing the charity there.
“The hospice is not open 24/7 at the moment but a few extra pounds will enable it to do that.
“It’s great that the festival is supporting such a worthwhile local cause – they have been great from the outset, asking what more they could do to help raise as much money as possible for the charity.”
Visit www.rbcamra.org.uk for more information on Redditch and Bromsgrove CAMRA.