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Community spirit triumphs at Beccles’ first Spring Beer Festival

PUBLISHED: 18:10 08 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:10 08 April 2018

Amanda and Simon Malcolm with Craig and Helen Wilson and Alison Flower at the 1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Amanda and Simon Malcolm with Craig and Helen Wilson and Alison Flower at the 1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Beccles’ first ever Spring Beer Festival celebrated a triumphant maiden weekend as people flocked to enjoy the best selection of local ales, cider and lager.

1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Hundreds of beer lovers attended the event, which took place from Friday to Sunday, as Beccles Public Hall transformed from community hub to community pub.

Organiser Graham Elliott said: “It has been brilliant with a lot of people coming here and enjoying themselves - there has been such a great atmosphere.”

The event follows on from six successful autumn festivals.

1st  Spring Beccles Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Elliott said: “It has been more relaxed and less crushed at the bar than the autumn festival.

“During the autumn festival it is not always so easy to sit and just have a chat with friends.”

The festival featured drinks from 29 breweries across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Richard Page and Barrie Harris enjoy the 1st Spring Beccles  Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick ButcherRichard Page and Barrie Harris enjoy the 1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

Such was the success of this year’s festival; organisers are already planning to hold another next year.

The event helps to raise funds for Beccles Lido Limited (BLL) – the charity which runs and owns the public hall, the lido and the Big Dog Ferry.

Mr Elliott said: “The festival is an important fundraising event for BLL.

1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We haven’t got the total yet but the money raised will be considerable and will definitely help the organisation continue to manage community facilities for community benefit.”

The organiser describes the event as simply “an informal beer festival” with “a great atmosphere”.

He said: “It is a beer festival but it is very much a community event first.

1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival.
Picture: Nick Butcher1st Spring Beccles Beer Festival. Picture: Nick Butcher

“We have had some beer festival buffs come by and they say this is one of the best because it is more than just a beer festival.

“It feels like a community pub with local people just sitting and chatting.”

As with its autumn counterpart the festival featured a top selection of live music.

Popular Beccles performers Tosh and The Moonlighters brought the party favourites on Friday night to kick the festival off with a bang.

While Saturday saw Solana bring their folk and jazz inspired repertoire to the hall.

For more information on upcoming events, search for Beccles Beer Festival on Facebook or follow @becclesbeerfest on Twitter.

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