Caister Lifeboat’s beer and cider festival ready to welcome in the crowds

Caister Beer and Cider festival kicks off on Friday

Caister Beer and Cider festival kicks off on Friday - Credit: Nick Butcher

More than 50 real ales and ciders have been racked up ready for the opening of the Caister Lifeboat Beer and Cider Festival this weekend.

The event - now in it's sixth year - opens tonight with brews from across Norfolk and for the first time a few ales from further afield.

The beer and cider festival has grown to become the independent life-saving charity's second-biggest fund raising event - and so far almost £20,000 has been raised.

Andy Garnett, who manages the bar and orders the beers, said: 'We've got many of the local favourites this year, but we've tried to push our boundaries a bit this time round.

'We've got beers from six Norfolk brewers - Grain, Lacons, Humpty Dumpty, Tipples, Wolf and Woodfordes, and Adnams from Suffolk. But we've also got ales from Batemans from Lincolnshire, Hook Norton in Oxfordshire, Shepherd Neame of Kent and Robinsons of Stockport.

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'We hope - now our reputation for great beers and good music is growing - that people will want to try something they won't usually get locally, while offering some of their favourite familiar brews.'

As well as beers, there's a dozen ciders and perries - all from Norfolk - and more than 10 wines for those that prefer something different.

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Food will be served at every session with the Lifeboat Cafe open, and a fish-and-chip phone and deliver service from J. Thompson's on Tan Lane.

On Sunday - Father's Day - the Bungay butcher John Groom will be carving up a tasty hog roast as a treat for dads and all the family.

Andrew Turner, lifeboat crewman and joint organiser of the festival, said: 'We've been really well supported by the local community. Many businesses have advertised in our beer guide - and sponsored beers, and First Eastern Counties has put posters on the fleet of buses based at the Blue Bus Depot in town.

'And when people come along, they'll be amazed by the range of beers, ciders and wines we have on offer - and the bands we've booked are great too.

'Rivers, which plays on Friday night, has signed a contract recently and performed on BBC Introducing, while we've got two country singers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday lunchtime. Then there's The Geezers - well known on the local music scene, but recently asked to support Billy Idol's former band Chelsea when they played at the Waterfront in Norwich last month.

'Ultimately, we've got the best beers, ciders and bands - and this weekend Caister Lifeboat is the place to be.'

The Caister Lifeboat Beer and Cider Festival opens at the Lifeboat Station on Tan Lane, Caister at 6pm Friday, open from 12 noon till midnight on Saturday and on Sunday from 12 noon till 4pm.

There is a large pay and display car park nearby, and First Buses 1, 3 and 8 run frequently linking Martham, Hemsby, Lowestoft, Gorleston and Great Yarmouth to Caister.

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