PREPARE to raise a glass as the Newbury Real Ale Festival returns on Saturday.
Coming back to the Northcroft playing fields, 152 ales, more than 100 ciders and perries and a
selection of wines will be yours to sample.
The event is organised and staffed by volunteers from Media Fusion and Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club.
Director of Media Fusion David Whittingham said that this year’s festival would be bigger and better than last year’s and that record numbers were expected.
Around 6,000 people attended last year’s event and construction of a bigger festival site started
yesterday (Wednesday) and will accommodate more people and food stalls.
“It’s going to be a big site,” Mr Whittingham said. “This year we are expecting a big crowd; last year’s was amazing.”
The event raises money for Naomi House and the hockey club and is supported by lots of local sponsors, including the Newbury Weekly News.
On the variety of tipples available, Mr Whittingham said that there would be something for everyone as the event was a family day out.
Last year’s high number of punters are estimated to have consumed 20,000 pints between them.
“It’s a huge amount but we never have any trouble,” Mr Whittingham said. “That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on. It’s a fun event and everyone enjoys the day.”
Gates open at noon on Saturda, with live music kicking off at 12.15pm, including a new open mic session for this year.
The Met Office is currently predicting heavy rain for Saturday afternoon but Mr Whittingham said the organisers would plan for the weather.