Beer lovers will be to the Manor drawn for festival

The Oxford Times: Cogges Manor Farm director Colin Shone is preparing for the second annual beer and cider festival.  Picture: OX57661 Denis Kennedy Buy this photo » Cogges Manor Farm director Colin Shone is preparing for the second annual beer and cider festival. Picture: OX57661 Denis Kennedy

COGGES Manor Farm will be full of cheer this week as it hosts its second beer and cider festival.

The event will take place at the Witney tourist attraction, in Church Lane, on Friday and Saturday.

It will run between 6pm and 11.30pm and will feature 40 beers and ciders from producers within 30 miles of Cogges.

There will also be a pub quiz, aunt sally, live music and a barbecue.

Last year’s festival, which raised funds for the running of Cogges Manor Farm, attracted more than 500 people.

Cogges director Colin Shone said: “There will be 40 beers and ciders to try out and they are all from within 30 miles of Cogges, so we are supporting the local beer and cider making community.

“It will be great fun and it’s a real community-based event. A lot of people come who live within walking distance and are loyal supporters of Cogges and enjoy the environment here.”

The festival will showcase Compass Brewery’s Dreaming of Summer, Wadworth’s Horizon and beers and organic ales from Witney-based brewery Wychwood. Live music will be performed by Eloise Rees, Rorke’s Drift and Nikki Petheri CK.

Asked about the importance of the event, Mr Shone said: “First of all, it’s part of our aim to be a community venue, so local people feel that Cogges is somewhere you can come along to and enjoy, rather than being a formal place you have to make an appointment to go to.

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“All walks of life can come and meet here. Personally, I’m just looking forward to seeing the place full of people on a beautiful summer’s evening. That’s when Cogges really comes to life.

“But there’s also a whole lot of beers and ciders I haven’t tried.”

Cogges faced an uncertain future when Oxfordshire County Council cut funding in 2009, but the volunteer-run Cogges Heritage Trust took over and reopened it in 2011.

The attraction underwent a £100,000 refurbishment earlier this year to build new play areas, revamp the entrance and create a wedding venue.

And since the attraction reopened for the season on March 23, more than 13,300 people have visited – compared with about 7,600 by the same time last year.

Tickets for the beer and cider festival – which includes a free Cogges glass tankard, two half pints and a programme – cost £8 in advance and £10 on the door.

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