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Beer festival a ‘huge success’

Lerwick Brewery's Jon Pulley working at the Shetland Beer Festival a couple of years ago. Photo: BBC Radio Shetland

THE ORGANISERS of the inaugural Shetland Beer Festival have hailed the fundraising event a “huge success” as they await news of the final total raised.

The two-day event was held at the weekend in the Gilbertson Park Games Hall in Lerwick by the local Relay For Life committee to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

While there is not a final total yet, committee chairman Martin Henderson said they have “done okay out of it” when it came to raising cash.

Over 700 people in total attended the event, which is likely to be held again in the future.

A number of live music acts performed over the two days, while there were stalls from companies like Thistly Cross, Lerwick Brewery, Beervana and Shetland Reel Gin.

“The event seemed to be a huge success,” Henderson said.

“Everybody seemed to be having a great time when they were there.”

Some members of the public questioned why a beer festival was being used to raise money for Cancer Research, with the charity itself saying on its website that “alcohol is one of the most well-established causes of cancer”.

But Henderson said the event, which was given the green light by the charity, ran with a message of drinking sensibly.

“We spoke to Cancer Research themselves to see if they were happy to proceed with such an event under their banner,” he said.

“We got the response back that they were happy to go with that. They work in conjunction with Alcohol Alliance, to kind of promote sensible drinking.

“We also got in contact with Shetland’s health promotions team and they were very supportive of the event and tried to get the right message across, that it wasn’t a case of just coming to drink alcohol – it was to socialise, to enjoy quality products and to drink sensibly.

“We had Drink Wise cups and cup holders and leaflets for folk to pick up, and we had posters about the Gibby as well. We were wanting it to be a social event for people to enjoy different products, meet friends and have a fine time.”