Beer festival toasts charity success

DRINKERS at Ipswich's beer festival today toasted their success after raising nearly £1,300 for charity - more than double last year's total.

DRINKERS at Ipswich's beer festival today toasted their success after raising nearly £1,300 for charity - more than double last year's total.

The four-day festival at the Corn Exchange, which included a Bavarian evening for the first time, raised £1,280 for the town's St Elizabeth Hospice.

The Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which organised the festival, chooses a different charity each year.

Area organiser Nigel Smith said the money raised at last month's event will be a big help to the hospice because it needs to raise £3 million a year to keep going.

“We are all aware of the hospice's value to the community,” he said. “Many people will have had contact with the hospice through their friends or relatives going in or being cared for at home.”

Festival customers made donations and also returned their unused beer tokens, which were exchanged for money and added to the total.

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Last year Camra raised £600 for Suffolk Mind.

Mr Smith said he was pleased with the number of people who came to this year's event.

“We always get a lot of support but it was particularly good in 2007.

“We had German beers for the first time, which we gave quite a bit of publicity, and it created a really good atmosphere.

“We would like to thank everybody who contributed to the charity and we are also grateful to some of the fundraisers who spent time serving beer and helping to wash glasses.”

Organisers laid on nearly 200 British beers as well as German draught beers and ciders and perries. Many drinkers came dressed in traditional German costume.

Camra will present a cheque to the hospice on Tuesday at The Woolpack in Tuddenham Road at 8.30pm.

Did you enjoy the beer festival? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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