OVER 7,200 pints were drunk by almost 2,000 customers as Winchester Beer and Cider Festival was one of only a few events not to be cancelled.

On the weekend on March 13-14, around 70 different real ales, eight Key Keg beers, 40 ciders and over 20 bottled beers were available for drinkers over the two days.

The CAMRA festival, opened by mayor of Winchester Cllr Eleanor Bell, was again organised by over 100 volunteers and this was the 20th event; there were 10 such festivals held in the 80s and this again was the 10th since it’s return in 2011.

Festival bar manager Vinay Narang said: “The number of attendees was understandably lower than expected due to the current climate but still enjoyed by the many hundreds that were there in each session. The volunteers appreciated your support, comments and great feedback; that is exactly what makes us put on an event like this.

Based on the current situation the volunteers’ briefings also included the regular washing of hands with soap and water whilst working, using hand sanitisers as often as possible and how to correctly handle glasses when serving customers”.

“We would also like to thank our sponsors, Flowerpots brewery, West Berkshire brewery and the Wonston Arms pub; without their support we would not be able to organise our festival,” he added.

The Beer of the Festival was won by the Southampton-based Dancing Man brewery, in collaboration with the Butchers Brew Club, with their Chocs Away stout, while second place went to Cheriton brewer Flower Pots with Busters Best. Local Winchester brewery Alfred’s were in third place with Saxon Bronze. The Cider of the Festival was won by local producer Meon Valley with their Chalk Stream cider.

Music was provided by Rough Cut, Plaitford Common and the Skore for three of the four sessions, and a tutored tasting was held by Adrian Tierney-Jones on the Friday afternoon. For the first time there was also a gin bar run by The Mobile Tap, based in Southampton.

Over £1,200 was also donated for Winchester Churches Nightshelter.