Hanover Beer Festival is back for the 34th Year
The Hanover Beer Festival has merrily plodded along through the decades, serving great beer and raising money to keep their cherished community centre thriving.
Brighton Beer Blog find find out more about this revered local beer festival, which has managed to stay so under the radar for so long.
Interview is with a couple of the star volunteer organisers: Laura Haynes, Hanover Community Centre Manager, and Ali Charlesworth, the Hanover Beer Festival Beer List Organiser
Tell us a bit about the history of the beer festival, has it really been running for over 30 years?
Laura – Yes, so It is the 34th event this year. We missed two years for covid but other than that it is a Hanover embedded tradition. Started by the Hanover Community Association to raise funds for the charity to run the community centre for public use. It was started by Jill Peters, one the first trustees, using a team of volunteers to help set it up and run the event.
Ali – I’ve been a resident here for the past 20 years and a publican for 15, [Ali co-owns Haus on the Hill in Hanover] so this is really important to me. It’s definitely the best Hanover social event. I love it.
And your time is totally volunteered isn’t it?
Laura – Yes. This is the first year I have taken over as organiser, so on the ground it is myself and our site manager supported by the Trustees. We rely on a team of volunteers to staff the event over the weekend and of course Ali to curate the beers which is at the heart of the event.
Ali – For me the event is a bit like opening a pub on Christmas day. You get to properly hang out with the community, essentially my punters for the past 15 years. I don’t get to do that all the time as I’m running the bar. So, cheesy as it sounds, I love doing it for the community. Even though squeezing it in around everything else is a challenge. (laughter)
What happens with the money raised?
Laura – All monies raised go into running the centre, providing subsidised hire rates for the rooms, we lend our street party kits amd run community events etc throughout the year.
Ali – The breweries are all really good and as we’re a charity, where they can, they make concessions so that more money can got to the community centre.
Laura – We aim to raise around the £6000 mark this year as we have many improvements to make to the centre. The garden is being landscaped, we are improving the internal offer both on the presentation of the centre but also the facilities we can offer.
So to the beer. What beers can people get excited about? What breweries are involved?
We have around 36 cask options, 6-7 ciders and some some wines organised by Wine Barrel.
It’s all UK beer, we’ve got: Best Bitters, Goldens, Stouts, Porters, Old Ales, IPAs, Pales and I even managed to get a cask lager from Ampersand. That one might confuse some people. (laughter)
I’m really excited to be able to get some cask beer by The Kernel, their East India Porter and a couple of others. We’ve got UK-wide beers from: Verdant; Deya; Arbor; Salopian and more… Plus loads of local breweries: Brighton Bier; Downlands; Unbarred; Loud Shirt; Burning Sky; Cloak and Dagger and Hand Brew Co.
Not bad for a local beer festival, I’m sure you’d agree (laughter)
Laura – There is also food and bar snacks available. Ticket price includes your first pint, souvenir beer glass, tasting notes and a beer festival pencil to make your own. Tokens are £4.50 and a token gets you a pint.
Not that I’m complaining, but how come no keg beers?
Ali – We have done a bit of keg in the past, but this year we’re not. It just didn’t seem to do as well at past festivals, the people just expect cask. The quality of cask beer I have access to is 2nd to none. It’s not the usual boring crap that you find in most pubs, it’s exciting stuff from round the country as well as local.
Tell us all the info we need to know for tickets and where to get them?
Laura – Both nights are 7-11 but Friday 6th is already sold out. We still have Saturday 7th tickets available.
Both nights are 7-11 and on Sunday we sell off the remaining beer for take-out at £1 a pint between 11-4.
We are still open for barrel sponsorship though. Sponsorship is £60 per barrel. You get two free tickets to the night of your choice, a logo on the sponsors wall and on our social media in thanks as a sponsor. There is a sponsors drinks at 6.30 on the Friday night, you have photos taken with the barrel and have a free drink.
If interested contact Laura Haynes at email@example.com