Hitchin Beer and Cider Festival hailed as huge success as 3,000 punters turn out to make it biggest and best yet!
- Credit: Archant
Hitchin’s annual beer festival has been hailed as the biggest and best yet – as more than 3,400 thirsty punters supped around 10,000 pints of top quality ales in heatwave conditions.
The family friendly vibe saw record numbers of ale lovers turn out at the event at Hitchin Rugby Club, based at King George V Playing Fields off Old Hale Way.
The occasion – which is now firmly entrenched in the Hitchin summer social calendar – saw more than 150 beers on offer, along with top quality food offerings from the street food monthly vendors including Cantina Carnitas, who ‘packed more sauce than a Carry On triple bill’.
The event ran from Thursday to Saturday with the attendance figure beating last year’s total of 2,874 visitors.
Speaking to the Comet near to the end of the event, Camra North Herts’ hard-working festival organiser – a tired but happy Jon Kirby – said: “We’ve had more people through the door than ever. It’s been the biggest and best festival so far – by a long shot.
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“It’s nice to see so many people enjoying themselves, enjoying the beers, the great food and the great atmosphere.
“All our volunteers have been working so hard to make sure the festival runs without problems, so it’s very nice to see people having a great time – as we’ve all bust a gut to get it on.
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“The weather helps as well. I also think having the Hitchin Street Food Monthly guys and their mouth-watering offerings has helped too.
“It’s a great community event. I had a chat with Matt Bean of Cantinas Carnitas after our last festival and he was happy to come on board as were all the street food monthly guys.
“It’s a proper buzz seeing everyone enjoying themselves. Hitchin is a chilled out town and our festival reflects the town. There’s no fuss, there’s no ‘aggro’. That’s why so many people enjoy it.”
Apart from all their organisational work throughout the year the festival has had more than 100 volunteers working flat out since last Monday pulling things together.
Jon added: “We’ll have a bit of breather but we’ll really kick into gear after the Stevenage Beer and Cider Festival in the winter.
“I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time and put in a real shift to help. There are some people who’ve worked 12-hour days since Monday.
“Every year we listen to feedback from all our volunteers and we take on board how best to improve.
“The formula’s there but it’s testament to everyone involved that it does seem to be growing in popularity year on year and tweaking it year on year can only make it better.”
The modest organiser, who many have hailed as being one of the reasons why the festival is growing year on year, added: “It’s an honour putting this event on.
“We’re a team here and it’s far bigger than one person. I’m so proud of everyone involved and would also like to thank all our sponsors too – and of course everyone who attended.
Passionate beer lover Danny Jimenez said: “I love my ales and the Hitchin beer festival is simply wonderful,” while tanned and toned real ale enthusiast Mark ‘Dexter’ Waples added: “It’s a great beer festival!”
One beer the Comet didn’t sample because it was finished was a keg called ‘Fake News’.