Real ale fans drink Towcester festival dry

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ORGANISERS of a beer festival in Towcester had to restock as up to 3,000 revellers almost drunk the bars dry.

Visitors to this years two-day Towcester Beer Festival at Towcester Rugby Club made their way through; 40 barrels, or 2,880 pints of beer, and 22 barrels, or 792 pints of cider.

Crispin Slee, festival organiser, and former 3rd team captain, said estimates between 2,500 and 3,000 people visited the festival over the two days. After a busy first day on Friday Mr Slee rushed to a brewery on Saturday morning to buy 12 more barrels and the club house bar also ran out on the Saturday night.

One team of revellers arrived early on Friday to get good seat for the Royal Wedding.

Mr Slee said: “We had a marvellous group of about 12 friends from the outside the county all dressed as wedding guests. They turned up before the bar was even open. They’d travelled down by mini bus which wasn’t due to pick them up until midnight.

“We were most impressed and opened the bar early and gave them a free drink for their staying power.”

Last weekend’s festival was a showcase 40 real ales, many from Northants, and included the festival special Very Old Devil and a Nomad Mirage from the Whittlebury Brewery.

A rugby competition between the Towcester Veterans and a reunion side made up of the Sponne School team who toured Canada in 1989 and 1992 ended 24-19 to the Vets.

But it was a family affair in the tug of war competition as Dave Wilson’s team of farmers from Wappenham pulled together to win the cup dedicated to memory of his father Roy Wilson.

Mrs Slee added: “The event was a fantastic success and we are already looking forward to putting it on around the same time next year.

“ But a big thank you is owed to the huge number of people, mums and dads, who gave up their time freely to make it all happen.”

Mr Slee also gave special credit to Mark Austin, a former major in the Gurkhas and Minis and Juniors chairman, who made Gurkha curry and sold 250 portions.

Money raised during the festival will go towards equipment, training and a long term project to renovate the club house.