Thousands of beer lovers turned out to celebrate St Austell Brewery’s 21st anniversary Celtic Beer Festival.

The annual celebration raises funds for the brewery’s Charitable Trust, which helps to support numerous good causes and individuals across the South West. More than £200,000 has been raised for the trust since the festival started in 1999.

This year’s event featured more than 180 ales, lagers, and ciders, more than 70 of which were brewed by St Austell Brewery and Bath Ales, which became part of the business in 2016. All five bars were run by a team of volunteers and brewery staff.

As always, the festival had a strong line-up of music throughout the day, including local favourites King Creature, Countrymen, and the Black Rock Jazz Band.

James Staughton (pictured), who is retiring as the brewery’s chief executive in January, made a special appearance on the music stage. He joined Michael Douglas — a Neil Diamond tribute act — on stage for an unforgettable Sweet Caroline duet, which went down a storm with the crowd. 

James said: “What an incredible day we had! I’d like to thank festival-goers, who were phenomenal across the day, as well as our sponsors and events team for getting it all together. Of course, I’d also like to thank the bands who performed, and all of the staff and volunteers who helped on the bars.

“Our brewing team pulled out all the stops this year and created over 70 brews for the festival — everything from a Double Chocolate Stout, to a Rhubarb and Custard Pale Ale. There really was a beer style for everybody this year. 

“We started the Celtic Beer Festival 21 years ago, and it’s gone on to become a truly special event — great fun, tremendous beers, and all to raise money for important causes across the West Country.”

Rough estimates put the number of visitors across the day at more than 3,000, making it one of the biggest Celtic Beer Festivals to date.

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