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There's something tasty brewing at the Old Hall

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: October 18, 2012

  • First of four: Gainsborough CAMRA members Kev Taylor, John Allsop, John Platt and Karl Thomson entered the spirit of the occasion at the first Old Hall beer festival, 2009

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The War of the Roses will be re-enacted at medieval Gainsborough Old Hall this weekend – but there won't be a replica weapon in sight!

Instead, it's the theme of the fourth annual Gainsborough Beer Festival, one of the highlights of the town's 172-event Octoberfest.

From Thursday, October 18 until the afternoon of Sunday 21, visitors to the best preserved manor house of its type will have a choice of more than 40 different brews.

Organisers the Gainsborough branch of the Campaign for Real Ale have literally pulled out all the stops to attract 24 traditionally produced ales to do battle.

There will be a dozen apiece from Yorkshire and Lancashire as the White and Red Rose counties continue their time-honoured rivalry.

"Twelve beers each from Lancashire and Yorkshire will be available – plus six beers from Grafters Brewery at Willingham-by-Stow and some returning favourites," said Gainsborough CAMRA publicity officer Kev Taylor.

"There's also ciders, perries and for the first time white and rose wine.

"And we're not forgetting the drivers, who will be compensated with free soft drinks.

"We're also looking forward to the Thursday night quiz – with prizes of beer tokens – starting at 8.30pm with quizmaster Brendan Cantwell."

Branch chairman John Platt pointed out that other highlights will include live music in the Medieval Kitchen on Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening.

And both hot and cold food is being served by Old Hall staff until 9pm on Friday and Saturday.

"We'd like to thank Lincolnshire County Council, Gainsborough Old Hall and English Heritage for giving us, once more, the opportunity to hold a beer festival as part of the Octoberfest," said Mr Platt.

"This will be our fourth festival and we hope to build on the success of the last three events.

"Although, on this occasion, we promise we won't run out of beer on Saturday evening!

"The setting of the Great Hall is, we believe, the best for any beer festival in the country.

"And, if you have not been there before, we do not think you will be disappointed.

"As well as admission being free at all times, there will be no charge for access to the Old Hall during the normal opening hours on Saturday.

"We also hope to have contributions from breweries amongst which we hope to have some beers never seen in this area.

"And we will have a few more beers not competing for battle honours."

Solicitors Sills & Betteridge, which has an office in the town, are backing the festival.

"We are delighted to be sponsors of the beer festival at the Old Hall, to be able to support the town and local businesses – and to drink lots of beer responsibly," said company spokesman Andrew Durkan.

This year's beerfest entrance will be the on the left of the Old Hall gardens.

The festival runs from 7pm to 10.30pm tonight (Thursday), noon until 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday – and noon until 3pm if the beer lasts!

For more details visit www.gainsboroughcamra.org.uk or call Mr Taylor on 07747 733876.

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