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Neil Morrissey expresses excitement for Palace's annual Beer Festival

16 May 2019

With the Crystal Palace Beer Festival just around the corner, we caught up with Men Behaving Badly and Line of Duty star Neil Morrissey, who's flying in from France to open this year's event.

The well-known Palace fan has regularly attended previous Festivals, revealing that the only time in recent years he has been unavailable was in 2016, when a certain FA Cup final stood between him and the tradition.

"I've made every event for years," he recalled. "The only time I couldn't make it was in 2016, and we all know what happened that year. Like with every time, the Festival was scheduled to take place on Cup final day but of course Palace almost made it all the way and so it was re-arranged. I spent my weekend at Wembley rather than Selhurst. Sadly, I couldn't make the re-arranged date due to other commitments but I'm glad to say I'm heading over this year."

Morrissey has a vested interested in the Palace Beer Festival as an avid fan of both the Eagles and real ale. In fact, combining the two pleasures, the 56-year-old is the co-founder of Palace Ale, a blonde ale sold around Selhurst Park and a true fan favourite on matchdays.

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But for a man raised in Stafford - over 130 miles from SE25 - exactly how was a lasting Palace fandom borne?

"When I was younger, a good friend of mine - Richard - took me to see his boyhood club and that happened to be Crystal Palace. I was hooked almost instantly and can't stop myself from coming back today. There's something about the club I love, but can't quite put my finger on.

"And with the real ale, that grew on me as I got older - as I think it does with most people. Given the chance to mix Palace with beer, well, it would be crazy not to, wouldn't it? So in 2011 I set about creating Palace Ale and it's still going today. I'm very pleased the club sell it and I'm looking forward to enjoying a pint or two myself on Saturday. Excuse the plug!"

Heading over from France is quite the dedication to Palace's humble event. So just what is it that brings Morrissey back and what would he say to someone on the fence about popping down to Selhurst?

"Ah, it's a great day for everyone. Like I said, I love Palace and I like my beer, too, so what better-suited event could I attend? For someone who maybe hasn't been before or is weighing up whether they fancy it or not I'd say: give it a go, because you'll never know whether it's your cup of tea - or even beer - if you don't. 

"There is a fantastic range of beers and even ciders that I'm looking forward to trying and because there are so many on offer, there's something for everyone.

"I'm looking forward to catching up with some old faces and meeting a few new ones, too. See you there!"

You heard the man: grab your ticket for Saturday's Festival here to receive a discount on the on-the-gate price!


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