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Newark Beer Festival 2024 to return to town at Newark Castle organised by Newark CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)

One of Newark’s longest running festivals is set to return this weekend with a promise to be bigger, better and with more booze.

The Newark Beer and Cider Festival returns this weekend for its 27th year and is back in the grounds of Newark Castle.

Last year was the first time the festival returned to the castle grounds since the festival began in 1996, however, its success led to it running out of drink a day early and not opening doors on Sunday.

Organisers of the Newark Beer and cider Festival L-R John Dunstan, Stuart Clift, Sam Lucas, Richard Trafford.
Organisers of the Newark Beer and cider Festival L-R John Dunstan, Stuart Clift, Sam Lucas, Richard Trafford.

The three-day event will run from May 24 to May 26 and showcase 120 real ales and 30 real ciders, many from local and regional breweries.

Organised and run by volunteers from Newark CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), the festival will coincide with this weekend’s Steampunk Festival.

One of the festival’s organisers, Sam Lucas, said: “Our budget was a bit limited last year because of sort of coming out of covid and everything.

“Obviously, last year was very successful so we have ordered more stock and hopefully we will go into Sunday and still have beer available.

“Everyone drank us dry which is good in a way as we don’t want to waste anything.”

The committee got more budget from CAMRA this year, allowing them to get 30% more drinks than last year.

They also got permission from the council to expand their premises further into the castle grounds, allowing more people inside.

Sam added: “It showcases real ales and real ciders, which are something that we're very good at making in this country.

“It is interesting to try different ciders and beers and support small breweries. We don't buy much stock from big multinationals, we tend to buy it from smaller breweries so we are hopefully supporting the brewing industry.

“And we're hopefully bringing quite a few people into town from further afield that hopefully will then walk around Newark and visit the pubs and the square and spend some money in the town.”

Alongside the extensive range of real ales and ciders there will also be a craft beer bar run by micropub, Just Beer, and a wine, gin and fizz bar run by wine shop, Ann et Vin.

Sam said: “A lot of pubs have been closing in recent times, we are losing a lot of pubs every year, so it's important to support your local pub.

“I think, rather than just buying your alcohol in the supermarket and drinking at home, pubs should be part of the community and a place where you socialise and really meet people and enjoy a nice pint of beer or cider.”

The festival will run from 10.30am to 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday (May 24 and 25) and from noon to 4pm on Sunday.

There will be entertainment with a quiz to kick off events each day, followed by live music in the evenings.

On Friday (May 24) the bands performing include Whistling Ducks and Free Spirit and on Saturday (May 25) Warren Ireland, Just Rex and Beggars Belief will perform.

Food outlets from the area will be on site such as Food to Go, Indian food from Memsaab, sweet and savoury bakes from KJ Bakes and toasties from the Big Melt Company.

There will be on the day entry only, at £10 for non-members and £7 for CAMRA members, with no ticket sales prior to the event.

The entry fee includes a complimentary glass, programme and weekend pass.

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