Beer festival has been a long time coming for Haverhill Rugby Club

From left David Halsey, Jane Marper, Pauline Cleary, Peter Lester and David Quinney pictured outside Haverhill Rugby Club in March. 

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE
From left David Halsey, Jane Marper, Pauline Cleary, Peter Lester and David Quinney pictured outside Haverhill Rugby Club in March. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

When you think of rugby its more than likely that beer will also come into the picture.

So it might seem a tad strange to consider that after 50-years of existence, Haverhill Rugby Club on Castle Playing Fields, in School Lane, is set to hold its first beer festival.

The club is putting on the festival, complete with live music, food and a seven-a-side touch rugby competition on the August Bank Holiday weekend, the 26th and 27th.

The idea was initially raised earlier this year by the club captain George Self and coach Sam Pullen and backed by the management committee.

Resources have been pooled and the organisation for the two days has been coming together, with George and Sam the chief architects.

The idea though, is not to make money but more to raise the club’s profile, as chairman David Halsey explained: “The idea was always down to the committee and it’s decided we will go ahead with this.

“If we break even it’s a positive. We are not here to make money with this, it’s just to break even.

“It’s something we’ve been asked for a lot by the members of the club and people in the town.

“We are trying to get people up to the club as well to promote the rugby club because it’s surprising how many in the town don’t know there’s a rugby club in the town, even though we’ve been here for 50 years.”

Thanks to various sponsors the five real ales on offer from local breweries Nethergate (who George Self works for), Colchester and Crouch Valley will cost the club nothing, while Kopparberg Cider has also come on board as a sponsor.

The event will have a gin palace with ten gins available, bouncy castles and a car boot sale on the Sunday only from 11am to 4pm.

Local clubs have been approached to enter teams in to the touch rugby competition, which takes place from 1pm on the Saturday.

Live music will be provided on both days and supplied for free by a number of local bands, with a minimum of five set to play.

The first group to sign up was Umbrella Assassins.

The beer festival is open from 11am until late on Saturday and midday to 4pm and then 5pm until late on Sunday, with the last entry at 9pm.

English summers being as they are, added Mr Halsey, the club’s patio will be covered by a marquee for the festival.