Ipswich: Help celebrate beer festival’s 30th birthday

Ipswich Beer Festival turns 30 this year; what better way to celebrate than with some of the finest tastebud tickling tipples from here and abroad.

Moving to the Waterfront from its traditional home of the Corn Exchange last year went down better than a drop of Moletrap Bitter so organisers decided to keep the event as part of Maritime Ipswich.

Staged by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) with support from Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Central, the beer festival will again be based on Orwell Quay.

Open from noon-11pm this Thursday, Friday and Saturday then noon-8pm on Sunday, it’s free to enter - just like the rest of Maritime Ipswich. You can read more about that elsewhere here online.

In honour of the 30th year there will be even more beer, cider and perry available. More than 180 varieties will feature this year, with tastes from all over the globe and a particular emphasis on Suffolk-produced ale.

Bringing the festive feeling in from the maritime festival, live acoustic music will feature during the event.

A wind group will play from 7pm-9pm Friday and crowds will be serenaded by local Celtic music from 4pm-6pm Saturday before being replaced by Ipswich acoustic rock duo Silbury Hill.

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Rounding off the weekend in style, the Stowe Valley Stompers will play traditional jazz for a chilled out Sunday from 2-5pm.

Be warned; some of the beers available are not for the faint-hearted.

The Austrian Straffe Hendrik Quad is a staggering 12 per cent, closely followed by the Chocolate Stout from America which is 10pc. Suffolk highlights include the fruity beer St Peter’s Grapefruit and the Mauldons Moletrap Bitter from Sudbury.

There will also be a selection of traditional cider and perry, mostly from the West Country and Wales, and a selection of food snacks will also be available as before from a range of vendors.

“Last year was the biggest change for the Ipswich Beer Festival since we started it in the Corn Exchange way back in 1983”, says Nigel Smith, a member of the Ipswich and East Suffolk CAMRA.

“This year is our 30th festival and we are very excited to be working once again with Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich Central and many others on the old dockside. Joint organisers Gary and Trevor have been working hard to help bring an interesting and varied selection of beers to the town.

“Collectively it promises to be another massive event for the town with lots of fun for all of the family, with many activities on the quayside plus our beer festival featuring a wide range of beers and cider.”

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