First ever beer festival held at town church is a success

The mayor of St Ives, Councillor Tim Drye (second from left) at the beer festival. Picture: CONTRIBU

The mayor of St Ives, Councillor Tim Drye (second from left) at the beer festival. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The Church of All Saints in St Ives held its first ever beer festival.

Booze in the Pews ran from June 28-30 and saw hundreds of people from the area came together to enjoy the weekend.

Organising committee members Glen Johnson and Verity Trynka-Watson were married at the parish church last year and, as keen beer enthusiasts, they brewed their own wedding beer.

After the vicar of All Saints, Father Mark Amey, had enjoyed a pint ort two at the couple’s reception, he was reminded of the beer festival he started in his parish of Sutton, in East Cambridgeshire, back in 2008.

Since coming to St Ives in 2011, Fr Amey said he felt like it wasn’t appropriate to host a festival in the church as there was a pub next door.

However, by the end of last summer, the Merchant House had closed which gave him the opportunity to host the festival.

At the event there were 18 real ales, eight draught ciders, four different bottled German beers, wine and soft drinks, along with a selection of home made food, pork pies and sausage rolls supplied by a butcher.

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On the Saturday, a family fun day with face painting and a bouncy castle took place in the churchyard alongside a barbeque and cake sales. The evening was finished off with live music.

A total of £1,500 was raised for the church which will ensure that they can hold more events such as a winter beer festival, which is planned to take place in February next year, and a gin and jazz festival.

A spokesman for the event said that although, primarily, the festival was hosted as a community event it was hoped some of the money raised could enable the church to continue its aim of building improvements and providing services to the community such as toddler groups and monthly gathering for those living with dementia.