Pub revival of Wykefest to support local charities

Dorset Echo: ALE GOOD: Wykefest organisers from left, Sophie Green, Dorset Brewing Company, Rhos Thompson, landlord, of the Wyke Smugglers, Alex Bardswell and Tony Egerton ALE GOOD: Wykefest organisers from left, Sophie Green, Dorset Brewing Company, Rhos Thompson, landlord, of the Wyke Smugglers, Alex Bardswell and Tony Egerton

A WEYMOUTH pub is resurrecting a popular charity-supporting festival for the summer.

The Wykefest food and drink showcase used to be held in the fields near Value House but it has not happened for the last couple of years due to the site being blighted by torrential rain.

It was organised by Value House and raised money for Julia’s House.

This year it is moving indoors as the Wyke Smugglers runs its own small scale Wykefest.

Landlord Rhos Thompson says that while it will have a different feel he wants to continue an event supporting Julia’s House and giving people a good time.

He wants to develop it in future and move to an outdoor space.

For now though, Wykefest will be held over the weekend of July 18 to 20 using the pub’s spacious indoor and outdoor areas.

It has the support of the West Dorset Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), whose members have been helping to source the ales and will be manning the bar.

Main sponsor is the Dorset Brewing Company which is keen to see the event develop.

Sales and events manager Sophie Green said the firm was delighted to be involved and that it was a collective effort to bring it all together.

There will be more than 19 real ales, all from Dorset, and ciders, plus food, live music, a barbecue, raffle and stalls.

All profits will go to Julia’s House, the Dorset children’s hospice.

Mr Thompson, who took over the Wyke Smugglers last September, said: “Wykefest was a great event but sadly it hasn’t run for a while.

“After we received our Cask Marque award for our ales and became a destination pub for real ale drinkers it was suggested we should have a beer festival and that we should look into resurrecting Wykefest.

“We discovered Value House was not going to bring it back and they were happy for us to use the name.

“Of course it will be a lot smaller but I’m hoping it will grow in future.”

Admission is free and the adults only event, will run from 12pm to 12am each day.

The pub in Portland Road is served by regular buses on Service 1 to Portland.

Businesses that would like to sponsor a barrel should contact the pub on 01305 760010.

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