Fakenham holds beer festival

Sean Mears pulls a pint for a at the Fakenham Beer Festival 2015 MLNF15PB03201 ANL-150325-103521001
Sean Mears pulls a pint for a at the Fakenham Beer Festival 2015 MLNF15PB03201 ANL-150325-103521001
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Moonraker, flagondry, Dazza’s, Decadence and Pile Driver were just four of the 15 ales on offer at the Fakenham Beer and Folk Festival.

Held at the town’s community centre last weekend, the fourth festival also offered nine ciders to sample.

It may not be the biggest in the country but it is definitely increasing in popularity with some visitors travelling from outside Norfolk to the event.

“It’s grown over the years. It’s the sort of event that gathers momentum. It’s been busier this year than previously,” said Tim Summers, a trustee of the centre and company secretary for WJ Aldiss, one of the sponsors.

Because of a very special micro climate malting barley, grown in a small area between Fakenham and the North Norfolk coast, is recognised as being the finest in the world. Once, from Wells-next-the Sea, it was exported to Scotland and across the north Sea to Europe.

That local connection, perhaps, makes Fakenham’s festival extra special.

And every pint drunk at the festival is special, too: all but two of the beers and one of the ciders coming from micro breweries in Norfolk at an event supported by some 20 sponsors.

But the celebration of beer, a drink that has only four ingredients – barley, hops, water and yeast – was tempered by the death of co-founder Mark Baldwin late last year.

He was also a band performer last year along with his father, Jim.

This year his father was on stage again as part of the Dutty Shud band which performed on Saturday evening.

“He’s sadly missed and will be in all our minds,” said Lisa Mallett, secretary of the centre and secretary and treasurer of Kick Start, Fakenham, organisers of the event.

Many, undoubtedly, raised a pint of Pile Driver – his 
favourite drink – to his memory.