The Wanstead Beer Festival is nearly here - Saturday, October 14 is the day.

Come along to the Christchurch Halls in Wanstead at any time from 1pm till 10.30pm.

There has certainly been a lot of enthusiasm since the idea was launched earlier in the year.

The event will bring together a whole variety of beers, ciders and some wine from around the country.

There has been great support from a number of local breweries including Brentwood, East London, Neckstamper, Beerblefish, Pretty Decent and Redemption and others from the rest of the country.

There will also be a selection of ciders, including the popular Farm Jim range from Devon so hopefully there will be something to suit all tastes.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Paul Donovan is keen to support struggling pubs and breweriesPaul Donovan is keen to support struggling pubs and breweries

Included in the ticket price is a special commemorative glass with a heron theme which gives it that local feel.

This year has been an important and challenging one for the beer industry.

Following Covid there is now the cost-of-living crisis. It has been a struggle, especially for our pubs, trying to keep their heads above water.

This year, has seen a full program of beer festivals across the country, with the punters flocking in.

Many locals will have attended the Epping and Ongar Beer festival in July. Not only was the beer great but there was the opportunity to travel on the trains between North Wield, Epping and Ongar. Great work in organising the festival from the local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branches.

The East London & City branch of CAMRA really does punch above its weight, partnering in Epping & Ongar as well as running the hugely successful Pigs Ear beer festival in Hackney at the end of November. The event attracted 3,000 ale drinkers last year.

So anyone whose appetite is wetted in Wanstead, why not go onto the Pigs Ear event in the run up to Christmas (November 28 to December 2).

The Wanstead Beer Festival is a not for profit event with any money made being divided between two local charities.

After the successful Wanstead Fringe and Wanstead Festival it is hoped that the Wanstead Beer Festival will also become a regular fixture in the calender of events in the area.

Hopefully it will bring in people from beyond Wanstead for a first taste of life here. Then they might come back to visit our pubs and restaurants and go to the shops. 

  • Paul Donovan is Labour councillor for Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge Council and a blogger (