New beer festival to open in Houghton

Raising their glasses to the success of Houghton Beer Festival are Houghton Round Table members Peter Merrie ( left) and John Bloomfield with Jason Payne, captain of Gateshead Thunder team, the Thunder Community Trust is one of the charities set to benefit from the Beer Festival.
Raising their glasses to the success of Houghton Beer Festival are Houghton Round Table members Peter Merrie ( left) and John Bloomfield with Jason Payne, captain of Gateshead Thunder team, the Thunder Community Trust is one of the charities set to benefit from the Beer Festival.
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ORGANISERS are counting down the days until a new beer festival kicks off on Wearside.

The first Houghton Beer Festival starts next month, with a number of charities set to benefit from the proceeds.

It is hoped that ale fans will turn out in force for the three-day event, to be held next month.

Thunder Community Trust has been chosen to benefit from this year’s event. The group provides sport-based projects for communities in Sunderland.

Chris Hood, of the trust, which is part of Gateshead Rugby Club, said the group was pleased to be selected as one of the charities who will gain from the inaugural event.

“I’m really pleased that the application we put into the Round Table has been accepted and they are involved with us.

“It was a really quick process and we are very grateful to them.”

John Bloomfield, of Houghton Round Table, which has set up the event, said: “We selected Thunder Community Trust as one of our key charities for the first year because of the work they do in helping both kids and adults to improve their lives through sport, not just rugby league, by helping to build physical fitness and the confidence that comes from working in teams.

“Thunder’s willingness to come into Houghton and use the proceeds to provide some activities for kids during the school holidays was a massive incentive. We have always been keen to donate to local organisations and sports clubs that offer kids something to do, keeping them entertained by providing a positive output for their energies at little or no cost to parents.”

Other selected charities for the festival are the bereavement charity 4Louis and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Mr Bloomfield added that Round Table members are busy at work ahead of the festival.

He said: “As far as preparations go, things are looking great. We only have five barrels left to find sponsorship for at this point, but we still have spaces in the programme for anyone who wants to take out an advert.”

Tickets for the festival, which will take place at Welfare Hall, Houghton, are £7 for the weekend, with Saturday and Sunday afternoon tickets available for £3.

Those interested in pre-ordering tickets for the festival, which takes place from Friday, May 11 to Sunday, May 13, should visit www.houghton-beer-festival.co.uk

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