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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Ale lovers in for a real treat at Ulverston Beer Festival

REAL ale lovers will be able to sample 83 beers and 24 ciders and perries at this weekend’s Ulverston Beer Festival.

LIGHTS, CAMRA, ACTION Camra branch chairman Dave Stubbins (right) shows off the new pint glasses for this year’s Ulverston Beer Festival as final preparations get under way at the Coronation Hall, with Ron Smith and Pamela Latham from Camra HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50067526B002

The annual event, which combines beer, food and live music, will take place at the Coronation Hall, Ulverston, from today until Saturday.

Organisers are expecting around 2,000 visitors over the course of three days.

Furness Campaign for Real Ale branch chairman, Dave Stubbins, said: “We’ve got 83 beers, we’ve got 24 different ciders and perries, that’s 107 different drinks. We’re not expecting everybody to try them all!”

From the Isle of Skye to Devon, the brewing business across the British Isles is well represented.

The 12 Cumbrian breweries featured include Ulverston Brewing Company and Stringers, virtually on the event’s doorstep, to a one-man operation in Barrow.

Beer festival organiser Steve Lewis said: “Abraham Thompson, from Barrow, has a very small brewery. He’s been brewing for a few years and is a bona fide brewer but it’s a garden shed operation.

“His beers are very hard to find but we always get one from him. We’ve also got a new brewer from Kendal. Tim Chadwick used to brew at Foxfield, then he bought the kit when the Great Gable Brewery packed in.”

The range of specially selected guest beers and the welcoming atmosphere attract real ale lovers from across the region.

Mr Stubbins said: “We’ve got coach loads coming from Liverpool, Preston and Wigan who are really looking forward to it.

“What we’re doing different this year is opening to the public at 4pm, two hours earlier than we normally do.”

Mr Stubbins is confident there will still be plenty to toast come Saturday evening.

He said: “We ran out at 7pm on Saturday two years ago and we’ve added 20 breweries since then so we do think we’ll have enough.”

As for his personal recommendations, Mr Subbins said: “Fell, a brewery from Flookburgh, have only been brewing about 15 months and they’ve got a new beer called Progressive Pale Lite. I’m looking forward to trying that.

“And I always like the Barngates stout, Goodhews.”

Ulverston Beer Festival runs from 4pm to 11pm today; noon to 11pm tomorrow and noon to 10pm on Saturday.

  • In more good news for ale and pub lovers in Cumbria, the Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite was named county dining pub of the year in the 2015 Good Pub Guide.

    The guide’s editors, Alisdair Aird and Fiona Stapley, believe traditional British pubs are enjoying a resurgence after years of doom and gloom.

    They said: “The pub scene has changed utterly from the days of decrepit boozers with dull beer and freezer-pack food to a thriving industry that’s now finding ingenious ways of pleasing millions of new customers.”
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