Ipswich: Maritime Ipswich and beer festival take over town’s Waterfront

Ipswich Beer Festival starts today

Ipswich Beer Festival starts today - Credit: Archant

Raise a glass in honour of naval hero Rear Admiral Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke of Broke Hall at Nacton at this year’s Ipswich Beer Festival, part of Maritime Ipswich.

ASTOS Tall Ships will be visiting town as part of this weekend's Maritime Ipswich

ASTOS Tall Ships will be visiting town as part of this weekend's Maritime Ipswich - Credit: Archant

“Our logo this year was in part inspired by the 200th anniversary of the defeat of the USS Chesapeake by the British frigate HMS Shannon on June 1, 1813, commanded by Sir Philip,” says Nigel Smith of the Ipswich and East Suffolk branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), which organises the festival.

“This small victory against the Americans a long time ago has been largely forgotten with time, but at the time it sparked much national celebrations with a resurgence of national esteem soon afterwards. A display of artefacts associated with Sir Philip can be found on the Waterfront.

“The logo also seeks to commemorate the unfortunate passing of so many local pubs in recent years including the former Three Jolly Sailors in Ipswich which has been demolished since last year’s festival.

“Other local pubs now closed and currently being converted into other uses are the Ipswich Emperor, Golden Key and Little Bealings Admirals Head while the Ipswich John Bull, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Arboretum, Heathlands, Bentley Case is Altered, Chelmodiston Red Lion, Stonham 10 Bells and Henley Cross Keys are all currently closed. Some of these may not reopen.”


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Back at the Waterfront for the third year, it opens at noon on Thursday, August 22, at Orwell Quay, just past the university buildings and runs every day until the bank holiday Monday.

It will feature a wide range of real ales from local brewers and those from all over the British Isles. There will also be traditionally created ciders and perrys from East Anglian producers and many other products sourced from across the width and breadth of the country.

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With around 200 beers and about 80 ciders and perrys to choose from, you should be able to find something you like.

As well as all these real ales and ciders there will be a range of imported beers via a speciality beer bar and some locally brewed traditional lagers from the Calvors brewery at Coddenham.

A selection of caterers will be offering a wide range of food onsite.

“This year we are also supporting Camille’s Appeal, a Suffolk-based children’s brain tumour charity specifically focused on the support and welfare of children under the age of five. For more information visit www.camillesappeal.co.uk.

“Last year we were blessed with some fantastic weather and without tempting fate too much we hope this year we can once again enjoy a few days of fine weather over the weekend,” adds Nigel.

CAMRA is looking for new volunteers to help organise future events and to help stop further losses of pubs. For more details of membership, which also includes free or discounted admission to many beer festivals and other benefits visit www.ipswichcamra.co.uk or the membership stand during the Ipswich Beer Festival.

Meanwhile, famous tall ships, some of which are up to 100-years-old, will be among the vessels stopping off in town as part of Maritime Ipswich.

The festival takes over the quayside, docks, marina port and Waterfront from August 23-26.

Visitors include the fleet of ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) tall ships. Crewed by young people, some of whom have never been to sea before, the large sailing yachts are taking part in a race to Cowes.

They will be moored close to the university building along the Waterfront over the weekend. There will even be the chance to go on board at certain times.

At 3pm on Monday, August 26, the yachts will head down the Orwell in a parade of sails towards Felixstowe before the race starts the following morning.

The race is being organised by ASTO, a charity devoted to providing adventure and challenge to young people through voyages under sail at sea.

It was the main beneficiary of the will of author Ralph Hammond Innes, who died in 1998 and lived near Ipswich. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth and the event has been named The Hammond Innes Race.

“ASTO is delighted Ipswich is hosting the Hammond Innes Sail Training Race,” says the charity’s James Stevens. “This historic port will provide an ideal backdrop to the iconic sailing vessels in the ASTO fleet and a great experience for those on board. It is also fitting that the race should start so close to the home of our benefactor.”

Other maritime activities include street entertainment including the Sea Shantie Singers, Lobster A La Cart, The Mechanical Sailors and much more. For more details of Maritime Ipswich activities visit www.allaboutipswich.com

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