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Ale and music are sell-out success

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: September 28, 2009

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THOUSANDS of beer lovers sampled tipples from Devon's finest breweries at this year's Abbfest which made £30,000 in just one day.

The ale and entertainment festival, held at Isaac's Field between Abbotskerswell and Ipplepen, welcomed thousands of punters to the three-day event and some stall-holders had to pack up a day early because they had sold out.

Scores of Devon breweries took part, showcasing 120 ales and more than a dozen ciders.

There were also local food and crafts stalls, cookery demonstrations and live music.

On Friday, an estimated 360 primary school children sampled different foods, learning about healthy eating.

Saturday's festivities were opened by BBC Radio Devon presenter Judi Spiers, who joined celebrity chef Peter Gorton in the Abbfest kitchen.

Sarah Dumont, from Fermoy's Garden Centre at Ipplepen, said: "We are 50 per cent up on last year. This year has exceeded everybody's expectations. It has been a phenomenal success.

"On Saturday we took almost £30,000 cash and you could not move for people.

"All the stall holders had a really busy weekend and some could not come on Sunday because they had sold out. The hog roast cooked five pigs.

"The weather was great and we had a jazz band and choral singers on Sunday.

"There was also a really good cookery demonstration by Ed Chester from the Otterton Mill who showed us how to skin a rabbit."

The main event, which raised £20,000 for local charities last year, had live entertainment laid on throughout the weekend.

There was music from Bootleggers, an American folk jazz band, blues rockers Cat in the Hat and Band of Gold, a blues and jazz outfit.

Young Newton Abbot guitarist Jay Tamkin also went down a storm.

Entertainment organiser Dave Peters said: "We had the most diverse local talent we have ever had play here.

"Jay Tamkin was brilliant and the whole event was truly tremendous."

This year's beneficiaries include Children's Hospice South West, the Samaritans and local clubs and groups.

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