Cheers! Brewery founder finishes epic 147-mile walk with beer barrel

David Holliday is greeted by people as he reaches St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

David Holliday is greeted by people as he reaches St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. - Credit: David Holliday

After nine days and almost 150 miles walked, a Norfolk brewer and his beer barrel have reached their destination and raised nearly £17,000 along the way.

David Holliday, from Moon Gazer Ale, pushed the 75kg barrel from the brewery’s Hindringham base to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London – a journey of 147 miles.

The journey saw Mr Holliday zig-zag through towns and villages, starting important conversations about raising awareness of testicular cancer as he went.

Mr Holliday reached the hospital on April 8, the major regional treatment centre for testicular cancer, and was escorted on the last three miles by its oncology team where he dedicated the challenge to the team there saving lives.

David Holliday takes a beat on his epic 147 miles barrel push from Norfolk to London. 

David Holliday takes a beat on his epic 147 miles barrel push from Norfolk to London. - Credit: David Holliday

“We visited quite a few businesses and sports clubs to talk about it, but more came to see us, because they had heard about us, via social media, or the live tracker we had on the barrel," he said.

“That's what this was all about, spreading the word.

“It was very heartwarming that we were able to achieve that, because this is a young person’s cancer. Young people feel they are immune and cancer is an old man's illness, so the fact people tuned into the message we were sharing was really heartening.

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“98pc can be cured if it is caught early, but if it is late, that 98pc can become 0pc.”

David Holliday and his team during the beer barrel push from Norfolk to London.

David Holliday and his team during the beer barrel push from Norfolk to London. - Credit: David Holliday

He aimed to raise £9,800 for the Its On The Ball charity to represent the 98pc figure.

However, he had reached this goal just before setting off and ended up raising £17,000.

After such a heroic effort, you might expect a few days laid up and recovering, not for Mr Holliday though, who was back to the brewery just two days after finishing.

He certainly was put through the wringer, having started the challenge in the cold snap, facing snow, high winds, and temperatures of zero degrees: “When you are on your own, going up and down a hill, you do think, ‘what am I doing?'.

David Holliday almost halfway through his beer push when he reaches Long Melford.

David Holliday almost halfway through his beer push when he reaches Long Melford. - Credit: David Holliday

“But, you just keep going and pushing yourself on. It was very daunting but incredibly rewarding.”

The team plans to carry on the conversation around testicular cancer: “The sad reality is, next year, men will still need to be told about this.

“We will keep doing the work to stop young man dying, as no one man needs to die from this cancer.”