Take a picturesque traditional coaching inn, a beautiful seaside village, live entertainment and a large selection of real ales, add a drop of barbequed food with heaps of money donated to charity and you have the key ingredients for a fantastic beer festival.

That’s the plan for Mac and Jane McHugh, owners of The Red Lion in Alnmouth as they make final arrangements for the 8th Annual Alnmouth Beer Festival.

The event takes place from Friday 7th October until Sunday 9th and this year looks set to be bigger and better than ever with live music from Newcastle rock band Fossil on the Saturday evening and a more sedate jazz feel to the Sunday.

Prior to taking on the Red Lion 13 years ago, the McHugh’s worked around the UK and Europe thanks to Mac’s career as an RAF engineer. The couple moved to the North East when Mac served on Search and Rescue duties at RAF Boulmer before retiring four years ago after 36 years service. Jane originally trained as a nurse in Newcastle later becoming a qualified midwife before changing her career and becoming a landlady. The couple quickly mastered the pub and hotel trade and embedded themselves as part of the local community with activities such as supporting the community skiff, local charities and the beer festival.

The Red Lion serves locally produced food in a traditional cozy atmosphere throughout the year. It has six en-suite bedrooms and a popular beer garden that will be used during the beer festival. As preparations continue, Jane believes this year’s festival will be the best ever.

“This is our 8th beer festival and we’ll have 26 beers and six ciders available. As ever, all profits will be going to Hospice Care Northumberland to help people less fortunate than ourselves,” said Jane.

“We’d like to thank the many businesses who have sponsored beer barrels and those that have donated their time and expertise such as Blue Tongue Design who have sponsored our design and print and Highlights PR who are helping us to promote the event. In particular, we’d like to thank our main sponsor Jobling Purser who’ve been fantastic in sponsoring the hire of the marquee and the special festival pint glasses. We couldn’t have done the event as easily without their help.”

Opportunities still exist for businesses to sponsor a beer barrel. Contact Jane at the Red Lion on 01665 830584