Vote for the Hitchin beer party!

Jon Kirkby and his team of volunteers

Jon Kirkby and his team of volunteers - Credit: Archant

Vote for the ale party – that’s the message from Hitchin’s ever-popular beer festival, after you’ve voted in the General Election, of course.

Hitchin Beer and Cider Festival hasn’t let the small matter of the national polls to decide which party will run our country for the next five years stop it from hosting this year.

The gathering is set to be held at Hitchin Rugby Club next month, with it’s opening day on June 8 coinciding with the snap election called last month by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The site, at King George V Playing Fields in Old Hale Way, had also been earmarked to serve as a polling station, but an amicable decision has now been reached to move the polling station to nearby Strathmore Infant and Nursery School.

Festival organiser Jonathan Kirby from North Herts Camra was relieved the hard work being put in by members, the rugby club, and Hitchin Round Table has not been undone by the snap election.

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He told the Comet: “Festival-goers will be able to cast their votes at the Rugby Club – but for their favourite beers and ciders.

“There is now more than one reason to mark Thursday, June 8, on your calendar.

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“Not only does the country go to the polls, but the ever-popular Hitchin Beer and Cider Festival launches.

“Even Theresa May could not stop the festival even though Hitchin Rugby Club, which hosts the event, is normally a polling station.

“The ‘Beer Party’ has won out as the venue in Old Hale Road had already been booked for that, while polling will take place at nearby Strathmore school.”

The festival is set to offer a record-breaking 97 ales and 40 ciders. There will be 50 firkins holding 72 pints each, with around 45 larger vessels called kilderkins that hold around 160 pints – meaning there will be more than 11,000 pints on offer to thirsty punters.

For the first time all the street food traders from Hitchin Street Food Monthly will also be there representing the ‘Food Party’ to provide a range of exciting eats to accompany the drinks on offer.

Stalls will include Hitchin’s Matt Bean’s Mexican delights Cantinas Carnitas – as well as Kura Kura offering Sri Lankan curries, Tuck In and their mouth-watering Middle Eastern wraps, Toastielicious will be offering their delicious Toasted Sandwiches, La Crêpe Franglaise selling sweet and savoury crepes, and Soul Shack with their acclaimed soul food. There will also be a Hitchin Rugby Club BBQ and a Pipers Crisps stall.

The festival opens at 5pm on Thursday 8 June, and from noon on Friday 9 and Saturday 10, closing at 11pm each evening.

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