Lift a glass as beer festival gets set to raise the spirits

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THE ALE is about to flow as Hucknall gets ready to raise a glass to its annual beer festival.

Last year, the event made a welcome return to the town after six years in the wilderness. It proved so popular that real-ale fans drank the event dry.

Now the pumps are primed to pull into action again — with organisers revealing they have DOUBLED the amount of beer that will quench drinkers’ thirsts.

The festival will launch at the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street on Friday February 17 (11 am to 11 pm) and will run until Sunday February 19.

Kim Pears is the manager of the John Godber and the beer festival will be her first in the town.

She said: “I am really looking forward to it and I am sure that all the beer fans in the town are too.

“I have heard about some people planning to camp out in the centre’s car park so they don’t miss out on anything.”

The original Hucknall Beer Festival was launched back in 1997 with support from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

It was axed in 2005 as part of a massive upheaval at the John Godber amid the centre’s management being sacked in a coup brought about by trustees in a clash over how the venue was being run.

But now it is back and this year will feature more than 40 different drinks, including a selection of ciders.

On the opening day, there will also be a farmers’ market and craft fair, covering everything from hand-made jewellery to meat. In the evening there will be a performance from the band No Fixed Abode.

On the Saturday, the event will run from 12 midday until 11 pm and then, on the Sunday, from midday to 3 pm, should stocks last.

Support has once again come from CAMRA with volunteers on hand to serve up the tipples.

n OUR PHOTO shows Ray Kirby, social secretary of the Nottinghamshire branch of CAMRA, manning the pumps at last year’s beer festival — DISPIC NHUD11-0311-3..