Raising a glass to fourth Rothwell Beer festival

CHEERS!: Roger Ward gets ready for the Rothwell Beer Festival.

CHEERS!: Roger Ward gets ready for the Rothwell Beer Festival.

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The sound of clinking glasses will echo around Rothwell Parish Centre as the fourth Rothwell Beer Festival kicks off tonight.

The event, which runs tonight and tomorrow, is expected to raise around £8,000 of vital income for the upkeep of the adjoining Holy Trinity Church, in Church Lane, Rothwell, and for Rothwell Lions to distribute to other good causes.

Featuring 44 different ales as well as varieties of cider, perry and bottled beer not often seen in Leeds pubs, the festival is once again expected to bring in big crowds.

A rise in metal thefts from the church in recent years has seen insurance premiums rocket, meaning a share of the funds raised from the beer festival could prove essential to the community facility.

Roger Ward, who attends the church and helped Paul Mann, from Rothwell Lions, organise the festival, said: “The festival is a bit of a financial lifeline to Holy Trinity because of increasing costs and decreasing revenues.

“We have had a lot of problems with people taking lead off the roof and, while it’s insured, it’s pumped up our premiums and we have excess to pay – it’s very disheartening.”

He said the church is still feeling the effects of thefts dating back years, so the church’s split of the beer festival funds will go towards bills and upkeep.

Volunteers have been supported by Ossett Brewery, Wakefield Campaign for Real Ale and Unite the Union, while local business and groups have sponsored all barrels of the beers available, which are sourced from breweries across the country.

The event will also feature a live band and food.

Mr Ward said: “It’s a really nice atmosphere, there’s a really good selection of beers and people enjoy it.

“We are still charging the same as we did four years ago for entry.”

Admission to the annual event costs £5, which comes with a beer festival glass, programme and a voucher for the first half pint free.

For those attending on the second day, entry is £3 if you present your festival glass at the door.

The beer festival is open tonight, from 6pm to 10.30pm, and tomorrow, from noon to 10pm.

For further information on the event visit www.rothwellbeerfestival.co.uk.