Raising a glass to success of hostelry’s beer festival

Martin Cooper of The Perch, Binsey, which is planning a beer and cider festival next month

Martin Cooper of The Perch, Binsey, which is planning a beer and cider festival next month

First published in Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering West Oxford and Botley. Call me on (01865) 425425

THE Perch pub in Binsey is planning a beer and cider festival as the business recovers from the impact of a fire and the floods earlier this year.

The pub will showcase more than 30 ales and ciders, including local breweries, on the weekend of September 6 and 7.

The management said it was the latest step in the rejuvenation of the 17th century Grade II listed pub after years of bad luck.

In May 2007, it suffered extensive fire damage after a faulty chimney flue set the thatched roof alight.

About 80 firefighters were called to the blaze but were unable to prevent the fire spreading throughout the building.

Two months later severe flooding further damaged the building. The pub reopened in September 2008 and in the last two years opened part-time. Restaurateur Jon Ellse bought the pub last year.

Manager Martin Cooper said: “It’s all about returning the place to its former glory and making it an enjoyable place to be.

“There’s a lot more locals, walkers and cyclists down by the Thames Path. We want it be accessible for everyone and will be as welcoming as possible.”

He said a July folk festival “was a beautiful day with a real buzz about the place”.

The weekend will also feature live music – headline acts will be announced on its Twitter feed – and food from county farms.

Hook Norton Brewery, The Shotover Brewing Co, North Cotswold Brewery and White Horse Brewery will be among those providing drinks. Mr Cooper said: “We’ll have around 30 ales and ciders, mainly cask but it’s going to be lots of local beers.’’ The Binsey Pub was once a favourite of Lewis Caroll and it is noted as one of the first places he gave a public reading of Alice in Wonderland.

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