Organisers have hailed this year’s Devizes Beer Festival as the best yet.
Blazing sunshine – in total contrast to last year’s rain – helped make the event at The Wharf a splendid occasion.
Such is the popularity of the festival that it was sold out in advance with a record capacity of 1,800.
Graham Brown of Devizes CAMRA, which organises the festival, said: “It was absolutely fabulous. The weather was hot and sunny all day. It was wall-to-wall sunshine and I don’t remember it being like that in the seven or eight years I have been involved with it.
“There are lots of trees at The Wharf so people could get some shade, although some people brought their own gazebos.
“I think there is a hard core of regulars from in and around the town and they know the lie of the land and come prepared. For the last two years we have put the marquee up on the car park rather than next to the theatre and it provides much more room for people.”
More than 60 real ales and ciders from all over Britain were available. The best beer, as judged on Friday night, was Ale Der Flower from Stroud Brewery. It was elderflower based and deemed light and refreshing for a hot day.
The first beer ran out at 3pm and others followed but there were some still left in the evening.
There was a packed programme of music with live bands and singers playing all genres, including Devizes Town Band, Kennet Vale Brass and a reggae band.
Mr Brown said: “It think it was the best music line-up we’ve had. The reggae band was tremendous, they really got the crowd going. We sold in excess of 90 per cent of the beer and sold out of the cider.
“We normally sell about 80 per cent of the beer but I think the wonderful weather helped to sell more. Everyone was well behaved and happy to chill out and listen to the music.”
He said the festival is different to other beer festivals as it is primarily outdoors and attracts families.
Mr Brown said: “Most people think of beer festivals as 500 sweaty blokes crammed into a church hall guzzling beer. Devizes is one of the very few beer festivals I go to that is a family event. There’s face painting, food, music and people don’t have to drink beer.”