Organisers of a beer festival which raises money for charity have been forced to camp overnight to protect its stock after a break-in.
Committee members of the Rippingale Beer Festival have been sleeping in the beer tent since Wednesday night after someone broke in and damaged two of the 20 barrels.
More than 75 pints, equating to a value of about £250, was lost because of the break-in which happened between 7pm on Tuesday and 10am on the next day.
Organisers are upset as it means that money meant for two charities has literally been poured away.
Committee member Gail Hyland said: “It’s never happened before and it’s heartbreaking. We’re £250 in the red before we even start.
“The money we raise from sales is being donated to the Lincolnshire and Notting-hamshire Air Ambulance and emergency group Lives First Responders, so it’s a shame we’re not going to be able to give as much as we could have.
“We’re going to need help from visitors in raising the funds through bucket donations.
“We’re all very upset.
“The beer would have sprayed everywhere so whoever did puncture the barrels would’ve gone home smelling of it.
“The beers were only delivered on Tuesday, and would not have been fit to drink. Anyone who did try drinking it would be quite ill because it hadn’t set.”
Committee member John Scholes was first to arrive at the scene on Wednesday morning and immediately informed organisers Gail and husband Andrew of what had happened.
The beer tent is secured by padlocked metal fencing.
The festival, which opens at 6pm tonight (Friday), is set to feature 19 real ales, six ciders and a lager, as well as a barbecue all weekend, and a tea and cake tent tomorrow.
Last year’s festival raised more than £2,000 for the air ambulance and Lives First Responders.
Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101 and quote incident number 162 of August 28.