UPTON Noble may boast just 60 houses and lack a shop, pub and post office, but it managed to pull in almost 900 people over two days at its inaugural beer festival. At least £5,000 was raised for good causes.
The event, whose infrastructure was put together by PF Events, commenced on Friday night, with almost 300 people dancing to local band The Enrichments. Saturday’s family fixture began at noon with a programme of music lasting 13 hours and time called at 1am.
The beers, ciders and fine wines were in constant demand, with Cwtch Welsh Red Ale, which won the Best Beer in Britain accolade at the recent Great British Beer Festival, the first to sell out. It had been donated by Batcombe’s Three Horseshoes pub landlord Kav Javvi.
“We sold out of eight beers and ciders over the weekend, and many kegs were approaching empty at the end,” said John White, a member of the organising committee whose Millwhites Cider company sponsored the special souvenir pint glasses.
Food was provided too and many children who entered the bakeoff donated their cakes for sale. The contest was judged by Rev Rosey Lunn, as well as ‘Paul Hollywood’ (aka James Hiscox). Mr Hiscox, who bears a striking resemblance to the TV personality, said: “For a small village this festival is amazing. The music has been brilliant, as has the beer and cider.”
Mark Adler, joint editor of Mendip Times magazine who came to photograph the proceedings, commented: “You can see how much effort has gone into this festival. Beer festivals have to broaden their appeal these days, and this one really has.”
Andrew Fuller, the committee member responsible for pulling in a large proportion of the £5,000 sponsorship tally, as well as Cooper & Tanner’s backing of the 40 instantly recognisable road signs, said: “It’s incredible how the event has created such a buzz. Of course we couldn’t have done it without our sponsors, some of whom are based in Bruton.”
A church service was conducted by Rev Lunn on the Sunday morning in the village hall garden, after which there was a community tidy up.
“There was so much to be happy with,” said committee chairman Dan Hurring. “However, one of my favourite parts was Sunday’s clear up. It was incredible to see so many willing villagers helping. It was a true example of community spirit.”