Welcome to the very first Portsea Island Beer Festival, hopefully the first of many annual beer festivals here at Groundlings Theatre. Whilst the beer festival is about enjoyment this year we are donating profits to two worthy causes, Rowans hospice in Purbrook and the fund to build a new Scout hut for 64th Portsmouth Scouts; see below for links to both respective websites.
For those of you whom have never been here before the Theatre was previously the Old Beneficial School, built in 1784 it is steeped in Portsmouth History. In 1812, a heavily pregnant Elizabeth Dickens was attending a dance in this very hall when she went into labour. She was rushed to her home in Old Commercial Road where she gave birth to her son, Charles Dickens.
Timbers in the school extension came from damaged ships that fought in the battle of Trafalgar
A former student of this establishment emigrated to Australia in 1840 and was seven-times
Premier of South Australia. This was Sir Henry Ayers after whom Ayers Rock was famously named.
So amidst all this history we have some fantastic up to date beers, beers that are very local from Irving’s, Oakleaf, Bowman and Havant breweries as well as beers from much further away that hopefully you will not have encountered before. We also have a lovely range of Ciders and Perries from Mr Whitehead's of Selbourne.
Please check the beer list page for a whole rundown of what's available for the weekend.
There are soft drinks available in the green room bar and the café is open downstairs
providing very nice food all throughout the festival.
Entertainment-wise, on Friday night we have the fantastic Shep Woolley and on Saturday afternoon we have Blendworth Brass Band followed by The Teapot Junkies in the afternoon.
For more details about each act, please click on the entertainment link.
As ever I’d like to thank all the various people that have helped and volunteered
their time and energy it is much appreciated.
So enjoy the first Portsea Island beer festival, drink responsibly, drink happily!
Cheers, Malcolm Irving · Irving & Co. Brewers Ltd
Our friendly ghost is spooked out because he doesn't have a name!
50 pence for each submission, proceeds to charity, winner receives a beer-related prize.