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Otley festival drinkers will raise glasses to boost good causes

Charities and good causes in Otley will be supported by the town’s 13th beer festival.

Wharfedale Observer: The former Otley mayor Mary Vickers, centre, with twin sisters Louise Lee and Sandie Utley The former Otley mayor Mary Vickers, centre, with twin sisters Louise Lee and Sandie Utley

The event, which takes place at Otley Rugby Club on November 8 and 9, will raise funds for Otley Action for Older People, Otley Museum and Otley Cycle Club.

The beer festival started as a way of raising funds to repair the East Window of the Parish Church, but now local charities and the church benefit from the money raised. Over the years nearly £60,000 has been raised for local good causes.

This year’s event will help Otley Action For Older People, who want to buy two wheelchairs for loan to elderly people in the town. It will also help with funding for equipment to enable the museum to conserve and improve its archives.

Otley Cycle Club will also be a beneficiary this year – with money raised by the beer festival helping them to buy equipment to train volunteer coaches to higher qualification levels.

Allan Boddy, chairman of the festival planning committee, said he could not think of a better charity to support with the Tour de France coming to Otley next year.

Some of the beers at the festival are rarely available at normal outlets and some will be brewed specially for the festival.

Mr Boddy said: “Most of the beers at the Beer Festival will come from micro-breweries in the old West Riding and, as usual, we will be particularly keen to support local breweries and breweries new on the scene. This year we hope to get beers from newcomers Ben Rhydding Brewery, Harrogate Brewery, Sunbeam Brewery and Wharfedale Brewery as well as from established locals like Briscoe’s and Rodham’s here in Otley.”

The event will also support Otley’s bid to retain Fair Trade town status. The Festival organisers are hoping to get Ginger Pale Ale, which is brewed using fairly-traded ingredients by Little Valley Brewery of Hebden Bridge. The beer will be sponsored by OFFER, the group which has organised Otley’s Fair Trade town status bid.

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