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Thousands attend OctoberFest at Milestones Museum
Buy this photo » Thousands attend OctoberFest at Milestones Museum
REAL ales, live music and food entertained the thousands of people who attended an annual festival held in the grounds of Basingstoke’s Milestones Museum.
Hampshire’s OctoberFest kicked off last Friday evening with a Works Night Out, which was sold-out.
Those attending enjoyed beers from various Hampshire breweries, live music and a hog roast.
On Saturday and Sunday, the event was more family-orientated, with various activities set up for children to enjoy, including circus skills with Great Binfields Primary School headteacher Simon Cushing, drumming workshops, face painting, a Victorian fun fair, animal petting farm, surf simulator and horse and cart rides.
The ferret racing drew in a large crowd and visitors also admired the birds of prey, brought along by HalkWalk.
Mother-of-two Heidi Kiefer-Smith, from South Ham, Basingstoke, took her two children along, and said: “It’s really good. It’s the first time we have been. It’s good for the kids.”
The festival, organised by Hampshire Museums and Galleries Trust, is a celebration of Hampshire’s finest beer. More than 150 varieties were on offer, from various breweries in Hampshire, including Sherfield Village Brewery, based in Sherfield-on-Loddon.
Debbie Dewey, a 45-year-old accountant, from Lychpit, was serving pints behind the bar. The mother-of-two said: “I was here last year and it’s really good fun – the day whizzes by so I thought I would do it again.
“There’s such a good vibe. It’s a nice mix of people. And we get a quick break which is enough time to sample the food.”
As more pints were sunk, the queues for food became longer. But there was plenty to choose from, including oriental noodles, hot dogs, burgers and fish and chips, as well as sweet treats such as ice creams and doughnuts.
More than 50 craft and food stalls were set up in a marquee for visitors to browse, with produce including olives, chutneys, cards, jewellery and mosaic pots.
On Saturday evening, groups of friends enjoyed sampling the different beers available, as well as a selection of wines and ciders.
Wild Weather Ales, based in Silchester, was popular with visitors keen to sample one of their interestingly named beers, such as Big Muddy – a smooth malty beer with floral spicy and mild citrus hoppy overtones.
The Longdog Brewery, in Basingstoke, also offered some unusually named beers, including Bunny Chaser – a copper-coloured session ale.
As the sun went down, the crowds were drawn to the main marquee where live bands and singers performed on stage.
Basingstoke ska punk band Burning Idols took to the stage on Saturday evening, entertaining the crowds with their energetic performance.
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