Tonic Music For Mental Health

We’re thrilled to be welcoming Tonic Music For Mental Health as our chosen charity for the beer festival this May.  With the issue of mental health finally coming to the fore of public discussion with the help of many charities and initiatives such as Tonic, we’re pleased to have them on board.  With your help in the games room we hope to help them raise some important funds towards continuing their excellent work.

Tonic Music for Mental Health is a not-for-profit organisation based in the South-Coast of England. They established in June 2012 with Terry Hall (The Specials) and Kevin Cummins (Music Photographer) are both Tonic patrons.

Tonic raises awareness and challenges the stigma often associated with mental illness through music and art based events and activities in association with an array of established and local artists and venues.

Music workshops, gigs, art groups and community projects take place throughout the year. All music and art workshops they facilitate are free, open to all and take place in established music venues. Music workshops help build confidence and self esteem, giving an opportunity for all participants to perform at a music gig. Art groups create artwork for Tonic gigs, free art hidden around Cities & festivals for people to find and keep, Zines, music inspired beermats, crafts, stencil, graffiti & street art, mindfulness colouring books, thought provoking affirmations & more. Weekly art & music groups take place at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea.

Tonic financially supports musicians and artists experiencing mental illness through funding art and music projects that serve to promote individual recovery and provide a route to enabling the individual to earn an income from their craft. Projects include funding an EP for band The High Wire Act and paying for an art space and start up costs for project In A Bind. Tonic also financially supports musicians and artists plan, run & facilitate music and art groups.

Tonic’s most recent campaign is to purchase instruments for all NHS psychiatric hospitals across the UK to help aid individual recovery through music.

Tonic also provides voluntary and work experience opportunities for creative people who have direct experience of mental illness.

Tonic does not receive grants or funding – they are totally independent. All money is raised through fundraising activities, organising events and participating in various festivals, street markets, gigs and community events.

In October 2013 they organised a sell out show (1500 people) at Portsmouth Pyramids with an impressive lineup including Terry Hall (The Specials), From The Jam, Dub Pistols, Parlour Flames (Bonehead’s new band), The Lambrettas and compared by Eddie Piller. Throughout 2014 &2015, they organised numerous music gigs (including Little Barrie, Dub Pistols, Fay Hallam to name a few), free music workshops, community art groups, free art projects and have taken part in local events including Victorious Festival &The IOW Scooter Rally to raise awareness of mental health, promote the work we do and raise funds.

In June 2016 they are collaborating with Southsea Sound (Albert Rd) to provide two free eight-week music courses for people with experience of mental health issues. The first group “Girls to the Front” will be a woman’s group to build confidence, receive tuition, teaching and talks from radial female musicians and industry professionals. The second group will be a mixed.

To keep up-to-date with Tonic please visit:

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Lovers of the Apple! (and Pears)

Don’t forget we’ll have our refreshingly good cider bar once again at the beer festival! Featuring many different ciders including a range from the magnificent Mr. Whitehead’s again, there will be a selection of perry’s and fruit ciders alongside one or two more traditional ciders.  What better way to welcome in the summer?

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Brewery Preview – Southsea Brewing Co.

Inspired by the craft beer revolution, a new local business is brewing up a treat within the historic walls of Southsea Castle.

The brainchild of local beer drinker/brewer David Eastwood, The Southsea Brewing Co. aims to go beyond the boundaries of traditional beer styles, bringing flavourful beers to the people of Portsmouth and beyond.

What started as a home-brew hobby for David quickly evolved into a micro brewery in his garage. After voluntarily working for a number of breweries around the south coast, David was offered an assistant brewer position at a traditional cask ale brewery.

Whilst learning from an award winning, classically-trained brewer, he continued to experiment at home producing innovative beers which won awards in local and regional competitions. His first beer was debuted at the 2015 Portsmouth Beer Festival which was hugely popular and the first to sell out. Since then David has been brewing full time to keep up with the demand.

Recently David has managed to convince the local council to give him a space to brew his beers in Southsea Castle. David says: ‘‘I couldn’t think of a cooler place to set up the brewery than a 15th century, seafront fortification castle built by Henry the 8th!’’

Complete with a tap room for tastings, take-away beers and brewery experience days, Southsea Brewing Co.’s unique new home is set to be haven for fans of craft beers near and far.

Follow them on:, Twitter: @southseabrewing
07939 063970

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Brewery Preview – Bristol Beer Factory

Bristol Beer Factory started life in 2004 brewing just a few standard cask conditioned ales in a vibrant part of south Bristol. They soon realised that there is so much more to brewing and so many more styles of beer that they want to try that their range has now developed into over 8 different regular bottled ales, 7 regular cask ales and up to 5 specials throughout the year. They are not afraid to try anything and the company has a firm belief that all the great ideas are already within the 4 walls of the brewery – it’s just a matter of extracting them out of the team within. Or you can just nick them from others – we’re not afraid to admit that either!

So it really is all about the beer. They love what they do, they love to drink it and they love to experiment. They are proud to be part of the current ‘Craft beer revolution’ and will do their utmost to persuade, convince and just simply tell everyone they meet what they should be drinking!

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Brewery Preview – Summer Wine Brewery

Joining us on the brewery line up this May is the Summer Wine Brewery from Yorkshire.

Yorkshire largely has a traditional ethos when it comes to beer, one which no doubt has it’s place.

However, their ethos is different, they plan to put Yorkshire beer on the map in a different way, by brewing avante garde beers that make people think twice about what they have accepted as the standard when it comes to beer.

They plan to tear up the rule book & brew beers that demand you sit up & take note by shaking up your senses and thus redefining how Yorkshire beer is perceived.

They believe creativity is a gift that should be explored, this means tradition isn’t always right & that things evolve including beer… They’re in for the long haul & plan lots of unusual stops along the way.

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Brewery Preview – Beavertown

Founded by Logan Plant (son of Robert from Led Zeppelin nonetheless) in 2011, Beavertown is now recognised as one of the premier craft brewers in the UK.  Inspired by the US Craft beer scene while touring the States with his band, Logan started as many do, as a home brewer.

After opening the first small brewery in the kitchen of a smokehouse restaurant, many brews later they are now well established and have seen a meteoric rise in the UK craft brewing world.

We’re super stoked they’ll be featuring on our new keg bar addition this May!

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101 Reykjavik at Portsmouth Beer Festival 2016

101 Reykjavík originally started life as an ‘Inspired by Iceland’ pop-up cafe-bar opened by Southsea couple Christopher & Lisa Whitear.

After spending too much time (and money!) in the most northerly capital city in the world – Reykjavík – the pair began importing their favourite Nordic beers, spirits and more directly from Iceland themselves. In order to make the experience as authentic as possible and to give people at home a chance to taste some of the world’s most delicious and unique food and drink.

Deciding to concentrate on spreading the Icelandic word far and wide, ‘101 Reykjavík – The Pop Up Bar’ closed it’s doors to focus instead on distributing it’s ever growing range of drinks (as well as a few other tasty items) across the UK.

The company’s website ( sells directly to members of the public, and the most forward thinking bars, restaurants and stores in the country are now lining up to stock their exclusive portfolio of inventive craft beers. Whether that be an Icelandic Ale from Borg, a Toasted Porter from Einstök, a Cocoa & Seaweed beer from Stedji or the award winning Gull lager, the combination of the world’s purest water plus the natural, unspoiled flavours from Icelandic nature make a perfect combination.

With lots more in store for 2016 (including the very first ever Icelandic malt whiskey!) you can be sure that 101 Reykjavík are 21st Century Vikings ready to take Great Britain by storm….

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Brewery Preview – Spitting Feathers

In Spring 2005 Matthew Walley cashed his pension, spent the lot on brewing equipment and set about brewing with old mate Terry Ashford without telling anyone. Even before the paperwork and personal relationships were sorted Old Wavertonian had won Beer of the Festival at CAMRA Northwich Beer Festival 2005- the first beer festival we were entered into and they haven’t looked back since.

In 2008 they opened their first pub, The Brewery Tap in Chester, to the delight of Chester’s thirsty beer drinkers and it quickly won all the local and regional pub awards available.  In 2014 we opened our second pub, the West Kirby Tap in errr.. West Kirby.

Spitting Feathers Chester HQ is Common Farm. The used grains from the brewery are a valuable feed for the cattle and pigs that provide the brewery and our pubs with meat. Bee hives behind our staff bar (where trial brews are drunk and argued over) provide honey for our pubs and seasonal beer, Honey Trap. Small amounts of hops are also grown on the farm for use in occasional/special beers.

We’re looking forward to these guys making their debut with us at the Portsmouth Beer Festival!

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Brewery Preview – Staggeringly Good

Joe Ross, Jon Chapman and Russ Cox (aka Staggeringly Good) proudly make ‘Beer for people who love to ride dinosaurs!’ The Portsmouth based brewery launched its first beer, ‘StaggerSaurus’ (a hoppy 4% Pale Ale) in April 2014 and have since taken the local beer scene by storm.

It all began after they created some personalised beers for a friend’s stag do (Hence the other meaning of Staggeringly Good) using the brewing equipment at The Brewhouse & Kitchen in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth. The beer went down so well that they decided to set up their own company and after just 2 years they now supply pubs and bars throughout the South from Bristol to Brighton.

Demand is so high they have now occupied an old industrial unit near Fratton park where they have installed a brand new 10 barrel (1600 litre) brew kit, a small brewery ‘Tap’ bar (with a rustic Paleontologists shed in the jungle theme) and a shop complete with lizard skin wallpaper! It’s a sight to behold and an awesome addition to Portsmouth’s ever growing landscape of quality real ale outlets.

Now as well as the fruity session ale ‘StaggerSaurus’ they they have a strong line-up of thirst quenching Theropods including VelociRapture (a 6.5% mega hoppy American IPA), Thai-Ranno-Citrus (a uniquely flavoured beer infused with Thai kaffir lime leaves), Post Impact Porter (A rich and roasty dark Porter) and their latest addition PteRedactAle, a stunning 5%abv American red beer that recently won the ‘Best Brew’ award at the Petersfield Real Ale and Cider Festival 2016.

The brewery is already pushing out these top quality ales and the shop is set to open to the public on the 22/23 of April 2016 from which point all the lucky local ‘Dino-Riders’ will be able to get their hands on bottles, gift packs and mini-kegs of Staggeringly Good Beer as well as T-Shirts and eventually other merchandise including stainless steel dinosaur branded growlers.


Brewery Preview – Siren Craft Brew

Next on our splendid line up we will be welcoming Siren Craft Brew.  Some of the best beers we’ve ever tasted that’s for sure, these guys take artisan brewing to another level!

To the crew at Siren, they see great beer as many see fine wines. In a great beer there is Allure – something that draws you in, is it the aroma? the look? Or just the thought about what awaits in that sparkling glass in front of you. Siren Craft Brew want you to look at beer in the same way. Yes it can be that perfect thirst quencher on a hot summers day, yes it can be the perfect drink to mark the end of a busy week. But look closer, smell closer, there is more. Much more.

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