Staff at a village pub near Abingdon are looking forward to hosting its "first ever" beer festival.

The Crown in Packhorse Lane in Marcham closed in the summer of 2022 and reopened in October after it was bought by Oak Taverns.

A community bid to take over the pub did not go ahead and Oak Taverns bought it, with managers Ricky Dawe and his fiancee Laura Goodwin brought in to look after customers.

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Now managers are looking forward to hosting their first beer festival on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.

Beer tokens can be bought at the bar and used on both days and there will be live music, cask ales and food trucks.

Ms Goodwin's 30th birthday bash will also take place the same weekend.

Mr Dawe said soon after the pub reopened: "It's been absolutely brilliant since we opened - everything has been running very smoothly.

(Image: Oak Taverns) "And we have been thanked a couple of thousand times for reopening - people in the village seem so happy it's like they were longing for it.

"People can take their dogs for a walk and come and have a pint on the way back. They have been without their pub for 18 months and really missed it."

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Mr Dawe said the first week has been busy with various groups calling in, including men's groups and local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) members.

While Oak Taverns is supplying its own beers, guest ales have been available too including those made by Abingdon microbrewery Loose Cannon.

Oak Taverns is based in Thame and runs a number of pubs in Oxfordshire.

(Image: Oak Taverns) The Red Lion in Yarnton opened in December after it was bought by the company.

It had been closed since the summer of 2022 and was bought by Oak Taverns after a community bid to buy the pub failed.

Oak Taverns also runs The Cross Keys in Wallingford, The Red Lion in Chinnor, The Swan at Wheatley, The Cross Keys in Thame, The Angel in Bicester, The Kings Arms in Wantage, The Rising Sun at Haddenham, The George at Sutton Courtenay, and The Swan at Faringdon.

Ian Collinson started Oak Taverns in 1991 after working for many years at Whitbread.

He is now retired and has left the company in the hands of his family.

Simon Collinson is managing director. He has worked for Oak Taverns for 18 years following various roles at Charles Wells and Matthew Clark.

David Collinson previously worked in sales and marketing and has been working at Oak Taverns for 17 years.

He looks after the financial side of the business.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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