A FOUR-PIECE covers band is set to rock this year’s Uttoxeter Beer Festival as they lay off the ale to top the bill.
Rock and pop covers band The Gear Shift will take to the stage for the seventh annual festival, held at Oldfields Sports and Social Club on Saturday and organised by the club and Uttoxeter Lions Club.
Their repertoire includes hits by artists as diverse as Katy Perry, Adele, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC, Olly Murs and Kings of Leon.
Lead guitarist Pete Martin, who said the members are good friends, said: “Each member brings a wealth of experience of playing all around the world, a professional attitude and the simple joy of performing music to every gig.”
The beers for this year’s festival will have a jubilee theme including Rule Britannia from the Titanic Brewery, Land of Hop & Glory from Spire Brewery, and England’s Glory from York.
For the first time there will be local lagers from the Freedom Brewery, in Abbots Bromley, the only micro-brewery in the country specialising in lager.
Wizard Heritage Cider, the brainchild of Diana Ball, from Croxden, will also be on offer.
With a background in catering but no knowledge of cider making, Ms Bell began by collecting windfall apples from her own trees and those of local farmers.
Her cider and apple juice are currently produced and bottled at the award-winning Pershore College in Worcestershire, but she plans to move the production to Staffordshire.
She said: “That’s the next step. I’d like to form some sort of cooperative and see if a group of friends can produce it locally.” In total, 25 ales and 10 ciders and perries will be available.
The charity chosen by the Uttoxeter Rugby Club to receive the profits from this year’s festival is the West Midlands Air Ambulance.
Twice in the last year the emergency helicopter has been called to Oldfields to help injured junior rugby players.
Lions Club president Gary Hudson said: ‘It looks like being the most enjoyable and the most profitable beer festival yet.
“All we need is something like the weather we experienced at the acoustic festival, and the beer festival will be the most memorable we’ve seen.’
The beer festival is a ticket-only event and previous festivals have sold out.
Tickets are available from Oldfields Sports and Social Club, the rugby club, Lions Club members or Steve Shields on 01889 565522.
Charities to benefit in previous years have included breast cancer care, the rugby charity for children Wooden Spoon, Saint Giles Hospice and Rakemark Respite.