Raising a glass to annual beer festival

Red Devil team member L.Cpl. Jimmy Graham with six year old cousins Cameron Cuthbertson and Shay Deehan, right, who are related to Nathan Cuthbertson.

Red Devil team member L.Cpl. Jimmy Graham with six year old cousins Cameron Cuthbertson and Shay Deehan, right, who are related to Nathan Cuthbertson.

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RED Devils, live music and plenty of real ale rounded off the second annual Ashbrooke Beer Festival.

The Futureheads made an appearance at the finale of the three-day event, playing a special acoustic set.

Chairman of Ashbrooke Sports Club Rob Deverson.'Ashbrooke Beer Festival 2011

Chairman of Ashbrooke Sports Club Rob Deverson.'Ashbrooke Beer Festival 2011

Up and coming Wearside bands The Generals and Moonrunners also entertained crowds gathered in the grounds of Ashbrooke Sports Club, West Lawn.

A tempting array of more than 40 real ales were on offer to drinkers, along with a selection of lagers, ciders and perrys.

Sunderland-based brewers Bull Lane Breweries also used the event to launch its latest tipple Raggy Lads.

And another Bull Lane favourite, Ryhope Tug, featured in a real-ale pie created especially to feed the punters.

Ashbrooke Beer Festival 2011

Ashbrooke Beer Festival 2011

Yesterday the club was transformed into a traditional summer fair with a twist, with contemporary dance demonstrations, Morrismen, village green games, a climbing wall and fairground rides.

The event got the thumbs up from people who went.

“The weather’s been a bit dicey,” said Tony Morrison, 38, from Ryhope, “but we have had a terrific time sampling the different types of beers.

His pal Mark Jonas, 36, added: “It’s always a good event and the atmosphere has been great. ”

Jackie Morris, 33, was at the event with pal Jane Smithson, 29. She said: “The kids really enjoyed themselves and there was something for everyone to do.”

Fearless freefallers the Red Devils performed their spectacular aerial aerobatics to the delight of real ale buffs relaxing in the sunshine.

On Saturday, visitors braved the showers to cheer on the Sunderland versus Hetton Lyons cricket match.

North East songwriter Keith Gregson and friends also performed a mix of traditional folk songs and popular covers.

Cricket was also on the menu at the launch party on Friday, where festival sponsors watched a North East Premier League 20/20 battle between Sunderland and Chester-le-Street.

Organisers said the beer festival would be back bigger and better again next year. Kim Minshall said: “What a great few days we had. Despite the weather, we were delighted with the cricket, pies, beers and the music sets were amazing.

“Bring on next year, the 125th anniversary of Ashbrooke at its current location.”

@janethejourno