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Newark Beer and Cider Festival: Everything you need to know

By Graham Keal

English wine and local gins will make interesting additions to the mix at this year’s 24th annual Newark Beer and Cider Festival, to be held at the Riverside Park on May 24 and 25.

But the biggest change for this year is that the festival, organised by the Newark branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and run by around 100 volunteers, runs on Friday and Saturday only, with no Sunday session.

Newark Camra press officer Ian Dobbs said: “It was a committee decision, but Sunday’s are not usually very busy, and three days is a big commitment for our volunteers, so we decided to leave it at two days.”

Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192956)
Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192956)

As usual there will be around 130 beers, local and far-flung, plus 37 ciders ­— up from 30 last year ­— with Ann Hayes from Ann et Vin bringing local gins and English wines to the festival for added variety.

“We will have eight local gins available,” said Ann. Craft gins will include Blue Monkey, plus Deco 22, a 46% proof small-batch gin from Lincoln, and Grantham Gin, flavoured with spiced apple and gingerbread.

Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192954)
Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192954)

There will also be two English wines ­— a white and a rose ­— to tempt those who are not beer enthusiasts.

Returning food vendors this year include the Everest Inn with their Nepalese and Indian cuisine, G. H. Porter Provisions and FOOD to go, all from Newark, and Fen Farm Venison from Sleaford.

A strong music line-up on both days includes covers duo Decades Apart on the Friday night, followed by headliners Shinkicker, a three-piece Rory Gallagher tribute band. The music resumes on Saturday afternoon with the wandering minstrels of the Hot Dogs Funky Brass Band, followed by country music band County Fair. Headliners Big Stuff Soul Band will be doing their gutsy renditions of classic 1960s and 1970s soul hits.

Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192952)
Newark Beer Festival 2018 (10192952)

Quiz expert Mark Taylor will also be running the quiz on both days at 3pm.

Festival organisers are expecting a maximum turn-out of up to 1,000 people at peak times.

Entry is £10, including some beer tokens and a polycarbonate pint glass or a half-pint glass tankard, with a £2 refund on the tankard if it is returned after use.

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