All ale ‘best ever’ Baa beer festival

John Heeley MP, festival organiser Steve Burns and Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright with representatives from the charities
John Heeley MP, festival organiser Steve Burns and Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright with representatives from the charities
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BEER and ale lovers from around the region helped to make the Baa’s of Steel festival the best ever.

More than 11,000 people headed to Magna for the real ale festival with proceeds going to several charities including Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

John Heeley MP, festival organiser Steve Burns and Mayor of Rotherham Coun Shaun Wright at the festival

John Heeley MP, festival organiser Steve Burns and Mayor of Rotherham Coun Shaun Wright at the festival

Visitors drank their way through a wide variety of 236 different varieties of real ales, ciders, wines and perries.

The Dinnington Guardian’s very own Dinno Lad also dropped in to help judge the finest ales.

The final amount raised for the charities is still be calculated but organisers are confident that it will pass the £35,000 raised last year.

The festival is currently in discussions with Voluntary Action Rotherham to create a new fund which will be used to support small charities in the area.

As well as Bluebell Wood, proceeds from this year’s festival will also be donated to The Rotherham Hospice, Weston Park Cancer Centre, and The Magna Trust, in addition to the new trust.

Speaking after the event, festival organiser Stephen Burns said: “The atmosphere inside Magna was electric and I think that a lot of people will have left with fond memories of the event. All early indications suggest that this year has been a record for the festival.”

“Although it will take some time to reach a final figure for the amount of money raised this year and to finalise the accounts it looks like we’re well on course to break the amounts of money raised last year.”

“We receive a lot of requests for support from local charitable organisations and we are currently working with Voluntary Action Rotherham to develop a way of allowing them to access the money raised and helping to benefit the local community.”

“We’re very much dependent upon the army of volunteers that have staffed the bars, giving up their spare time to help make the event work and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to make this year’s event happen – without people giving up their spare time to make the event work, it would be impossible to happen.”

“I think this has our best festival to date, and sets a very high standard for us to try and better next year!”

Entertainment was provided on three different stages that brought together some of the best local acts in the business, ranging from barbershop quartets in the corridors to some of the best tribute bands and acts in the business, culminating in spectacular show led by the Great Pretender – a Freddie Mercury show.

The festival was by former pubs minister John Heeley MP, who was accompanied by the Mayor of Rotherham Coun Shaun Wright, who officially opened the festival by pulling the first pints of the champion beer of the festival – Moonshine, brewed by the Abbeydale brewery.