Despite the tempestuous weather conditions and the prospect of a replacement bus service home, beer lovers turned out in droves to celebrate St Austell Brewery’s 20th anniversary Celtic Beer Festival on Saturday.
Featuring over 180 ales, lagers and ciders, over 60 of which were brewed at St Austell and Bath ales, there was more than enough liquid refreshment to keep the crowds happy as the temperatures in the Brewery vaults heated up in keeping with the busy music line-up across the day.
Featuring perennial local favourites such as The Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boys, no special anniversary edition would be complete without a surprise and this one was well-kept until the final moments when The Stars From Commitments (featuring original cast members and musicians from the Bafta Winner, Golden Globe and Oscar Nominated film) took the stage by storm.
Introduced by none other than Brewery Chief Executive James Staughton – who went on to join lead guitar/vocals Kenneth McCluskey (aka Derek “The Meatman” Scully) on vocals – the crowd were wowed as the band rolled out a long list of classics, including of course, Mustang Sally.
Last seen crowd surfing into the haze, James Staughton’s delight at the success of this year’s event was evident: “What an incredible day! We worked really hard to keep the big band a secret and it paid off. The Stars From The Commitments were incredible, the reception was immense and despite the weather and the trains, the crowds have been phenomenal across the day. Thanks so much to all of our sponsors and the events team for getting it all together and, of course, the bands for making it such a special occasion.”
Rough estimates put the number of visitors across the day at over 3,000, making it the biggest Celtic Beer Festival to date and with early estimates suggest the 20th anniversary event is going to be a record-breaker in terms of money raised for charity as well.
Thrilled to have played their part in the making the event a standout, Commitments lead Guitar /vocals Kenneth McCluskey said: “It felt amazing to be part of something very special. The beer festival obviously means a lot to people in this beautiful part of the world and with it being the 20th anniversary it had an extra special edge. The crowd were brilliant and we had a ball. Big thanks to James and the team for making us so welcome and we’re looking forward to the next invite.”
More information about the full total raised for the Brewery’s Charitable Trust will be announced in due course. For more information visit www.staustellbrewery.co.uk.