Hundreds sample best brews at Devizes Beer Festival

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jacqueline Hucker and Fiona Drewitt enjoy Devizes Beer Festival. Picture by Paul Morris Jacqueline Hucker and Fiona Drewitt enjoy Devizes Beer Festival. Picture by Paul Morris

Devizes Beer Festival organiser Don Jones has said cheers to the hundreds of real ale lovers who helped make this year’s event the most successful ever.

Nearly 2,000 tickets were sold for the festival held at Devizes Wharf on Saturday and as the sun shone during the afternoon, people enjoyed more than 65 different ales.

Mr Jones said: “ It was a great success. We sold around 90 per cent of all of our beer.

“An event is usually deemed successful if it sells more than 75 per cent so we were well up on that. I think it was the most successful ever.

“The weather was kind to us and we were particularly busy between 2pm and 4pm. I think some people left after that as they wanted to watch the World Cup on the TV.

“There was a great atmosphere and it was lovely to see people of all ages enjoying the beer and the music.”

He hopes around £500 has been raised for the Gazette’s Give Us A Chance appeal for Devizes Opportunity Centre from unused tokens handed back when people left, and another £150 was raised by face painting.

Mr Jones’ wife Mandy and a team of other women were kept busy throughout the day.

Mr Jones said: “It used to be just children that liked the face painting but this year it was very popular with adults as well. The lads seemed to favour tiger faces while a number of women wanted flowers on their cheeks.”

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A team of judges made up of landlords and beer experts decided the best beer of the festival was Independence by the Bristol Beer Factory.

Mr Jones said: “The beer was judged on Friday night from a shortlist of ten we had put forward. It was a very close run thing.”

A wide mix of music, which included offerings by Devizes Town Band, acoustic songwriter Ben Cipolla, folk rock band Rovin Crowes, Clare in the Tommunity, acoustic blues from Babajack, reggae band Troy Ellis and country/punk band Bleedin Noses entertained the crowd and added to the atmosphere.

Mr Jones is already planning next year’s event, which will take place on July 1, 2015.

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