A BEER and cider festival has been cancelled due to staffing issues amid an "impossible" time to hire chefs.

The Compasses Inn, Chicksgrove, announced it would not be running its annual boozy celebration on Friday, July 5.

The free event, which promised live music from Belle Street, DJ's and a BBQ, would have gone ahead on July 13 between 12 and 8pm.

Manager Carlo Torre told the Journal the event had been cancelled for "a couple of reasons" one of which included "a staffing issue".

The Compasses Inn will not be putting on its beer and cider festival this year.The Compasses Inn will not be putting on its beer and cider festival this year. (Image: Ben Maschler)

This would have been the pub's third beer and cider festival and owner Ben Maschler said the decision to call it off "has not been taken lightly".

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Mr Maschler, who took on the 14th century pub seven years ago, added: "We have put on a number of these events in the past and they are great fun but a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make them successful and we are struggling to find staff at the moment (particularly chefs).

"We have also had a key member of kitchen staff off work with illness and I felt that to put on the event would be added pressure that we don’t need at the moment."

The Compasses hopes to reschedule the festival but no date for this has been set yet.

Mr Maschler highlighted the current struggle to hire good chefs, a problem shared by many pubs owners across the region.

"The most interesting thing is just how impossible it is to hire at the moment. It has been for years now," said Mr Maschler.

"It was made worse by Brexit and then by Covid. Both of those things have had a huge effect on the ability to hire chefs."

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While the industry-wide problem "certainly isn't unique" to The Compasses, the rural pub happens to sit among a number of other great venues.

It also doesn't have staff accommodation so Mr Maschler must rely on people who live in the area, who have a car and somewhere to stay.

Mr Maschler said: "We’ve been working exceptionally hard, everyone’s tired.

"We have not taken the decision to cancel lightly but we feel it will be better for our staff and our customers in the long run."