Free beer for life for Kevin at the Wilburton Beer Festival

Wilburton Beer Fest

Wilburton Beer Fest - Credit: Archant

Free drinks for life have been presented to the chairman of the Wilburton Beer Festival who stepped down after 18 years heading up an event that attracts fans from across the region.

The key of the festival was presented to Kevin Hennessy as a thank you to nearly two decades of dedication during a weekend packed with more than 1,500 visitors.

Kevin has been in it from the beginning and since 1998 seen the event raise more than £60,000 for local charities.

Charlie Gienke, vice chairman, said: “It has grown so much since the early days - this year we think it had the most visitors so we are hoping to top last year’s fund raising total of £6,500.

“Kevin has worked really hard and he deserves a big thank you from everybody,” he said

Cider went off the scale this year and organisers had to restock after supplies ran out on Saturday night, he added.

The event sees a raft of different drinks on offer including ales, ciders, prossecco, Pimms and also a wide range of different local musicians entertain throughout the weekend.

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Half of the funds raised will go towards Recreation Improvement group RIG, and the other half will go to local charities including Wilburton, Haddenham and Aldreth First Responders, Wilburton Theatre Group, Wilburton Girl Guiding Groups, Wilburton Baptist Baby and Toddler Group, SWAT (Students of Wilburton Amateur Theatre), Wilburton Youth Club, Humpty’s Preschool, Stretham Scouts, Liam Fairhurst Foundation, HEART and Wilburton Cricket Club.

Mr Gienke said: “It was an amazing weekend, hard work, but all of it worthwhile to see happy faces having a good time.”

Beer of the year for 2016 him was Nun Beeheaving Badly, a honey infused cider.