IT was ‘bottoms up’ for beer drinkers as hundreds of people enjoyed a pint at Weymouth Octoberfest.

The event is being held for the third year at the Pavilion, with the focus on West Country brews.

Bar manager Rich Gabe introduces us to his favourite pint:

CAMRA West Dorset Chairman Dave Harris said he was thrilled to see so many people enjoying the festival.

He said: “I think more and more people are enjoying real ale and they do take an interest in more traditional, hand-crafted food and drink.

“It’s also great to see so many different ages, and a lot of women coming to have a pint.”

More than 4,750 pints from breweries across the South West will be downed at the two day festival, which includes live music in the evening.

The event was originally held at Brewers Quay and moved to the Pavilion as it became more popular.
Mr Harris said: “When we first held it here, it was a big leap in venue size, but it was a great opportunity.

“We have tweaked it here and there and I think this year it’s the best presentation of the room.

“But just to be able to have it here after the fate of the Pavilion has been uncertain is fantastic.

“We are so happy to be here.”

The event drew people from as far away as Bristol and Southampton, with one enterprising soul even sailing to the festival from Lymington, Mr Harris added.

Popular ales such as Small Paul’s Chocolate Ale, from Gillingham, sold out quickly but there was plenty to choose from with Dorset highlights the Wessex Wobble, from Bournemouth Brewery, Town Mill’s Black Ven dark ale from Lyme Regis, Raven Porter from Corfe Castle, Saxon Gold from Bourton-based King Alfred and Palmer’s award-winning Tally Ho! from Bridport.

Rich said: “It’s not possible to stock them all, but with the aim of something for everybody I have selected a combination of all styles of beer, utilising old festival favourites, well established South West breweries and some exciting new breweries that I have yet to sample.”

Friends Robin Garrett and Brian Feuillet said they visit the festival every year.

Robin, 52, from Bournemouth, said: “This is one of our annual fixtures of the year. It’s a great facility and you get a good range of beers from all across the South West.”

Brian, also 52, from Poole, added: “We know the recent history of the Pavilion so it’s great to come and support the community here.

“My favourite beer would have to be the Wessex Wobble. I’ve tasted it at the Bournemouth Brewery and it’s fantastic.”