DORCHESTER Beerex is toasting a big success as this year’s festival pulled in a record breaking sum of fundraising money.

The festival, which was organised by West Dorset Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) in partnership with Casterbridge Rotary Club, saw more than £19,500 raised for various good causes.

This is by far the most money that the festival has made in its existence. It also means that the festival has now raised more than £200,000 over the years.

Les Fry, who was this year’s chairman, praised that hard work of all the volunteers involved in making the festival possible.

He said: “This is a fantastic result, well done everyone. I have really enjoyed being part of this very well organised and slick festival; it is a credit to all your hard work, team work and commitment to make this happen every year. Your energy and motivation to make this happen each year for the benefit of beer (and Cider) drinkers is commendable with the wider community being the real winners.”

The profits will be dealt out between a number of good causes, including the local mental health charity Dorset Mind and the Dorchester Youth and Community Centre.

The key sponsor was Palmers Brewery and other companies also chipped in with barrels and raffle prizes. There was entertainment from Jack Daniels and Benny Wain on the Friday night as well as the Leggomen for Saturday night along with sponsorship from Cummings Accountants.

When it came to the “Beer of the Festival” vote, Dorset brewers impressed the public enough that Dorchester brewery Copper St’s Dorchester Imperial Stout and the Cerne Abbas brewery’s Gurt Coconuts Rum stout emerged as joint victors.

Rich Gabe of West Dorset CAMRA, who is responsible for sourcing the beers for the festival said: “I am really pleased that out of 84 beers that were eligible for a vote Dorset brewers shone through, they clearly brew some of the U.K’s finest beer.”