PICTURES: Hundreds bask in sunshine at Half Moon Beer Festival in Belchamp
Publicans David and Katrina Crook were celebrating as visitors to their beer festival in Belchamp St Paul enjoyed almost unbroken sunshine.
The event at the Half Moon Inn has been going for a decade, but this was the first time in the five years that Mr and Mrs Crook have run the pub that the four-day event has passed without any rain.
“This was the first fully dry one we’ve held – all the rest have been rainy,” said Mr Crook.
“The weather definitely helped as this year was the busiest beer festival we’ve seen since we came here.”
Hundreds of people turned out for festival, which started on Friday and went through to Bank Holiday Monday.
The festival saw 1,600 pints of real ale and 320 pints of cider consumed by pub-goers.
As well as the 24 real ales and 10 ciders on offer, the pub put on live music from bands and soloists featuring blues, rock, jazz and swing music.
Mr Crook said: “We had a selection of beers and the majority of them were from local and regional breweries and micro breweries.
“These included the Grain Brewery from Norfolk, The Colchester Brewery from Wakes Colne, which was really helpful and supportive, the Mighty Oak Brewery from Maldon and George’s Brewery from Great Wakering.
The pub offered food over the weekend to complement the beer and ciders on offer, and held a barbecue on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was difficult to judge how many people came along over the long weekend,” added Mr Crook.
“But we reckon it was a few hundred and it was certainly a lot busier than in previous years.”