Beer festival goes ahead this year

REAL ale enthusiasts have today been assured that the Corn Exchange will open especially for this year's popular Ipswich Beer Festival.

REAL ale enthusiasts have today been assured that the Corn Exchange will open especially for this year's popular Ipswich Beer Festival.

With the announcement that Ipswich Council was going to close the community venue for five months a year, starting this June, there were concerns about the location of the annual real ale festival held in September.

However Nigel Smith, a member of the Ipswich branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, says the council is honouring the club's booking of the venue this year.

He said: “We had already put the next date and venue for the festival in the website and magazine last year.

“As the council had already taken the booking for it, they decided to honour it. We had booked the bands playing so it would have been awkward to change it.

“We will not be able to have it there next September so will probably move it to October so it can stay in the same place. The main consideration is the size as there are not many other venues like it in Ipswich.”

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Last year's event attracted 4,500 people so a cancellation or venue change at such short notice would have caused considerable inconvenience.

The theme for this year's festival is Darwinism, which means the beers will have animal, vegetable or mineral content in the title. There is expected to be more than 170 beers available, including Belgium beers, together with Ciders and Perries. It will take place at the Corn Exchange between September 23 to 26.

There will be some money raised for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Are you a community group that will be affected by the partial closure of the Corn Exchange? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.