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Campaigning for good beer in good pubs in north Lancashire and the Ingleborough area

CAMRA Lunesdale


Ben Ray sets up his stall at the Hawkshead fest

Cumbria comes to Lancaster in a big way this week with the two Wetherspoon’s pubs offering a veritable feast of brews from two prominent breweries in a double festival guaranteed to delight real ale fans.

At the Green Ayre until at least Sunday (12th) five beers from Dent are available. The idea of a series of short beer festivals at the pub came from manager Dan Lambert, who asked duty manager Mike Brandwood to take charge of arrangements. The latter was responsible for organising and setting up the Dent festival and choosing the beers.

Mike said, “Mini-festivals of a single company’s beers offer a great opportunity for real ale enthusiasts to compare and contrast across the brewer’s portfolio. At this festival drinkers experience the versatility of this Cumbrian brewer’s art, with five great and very different ales.”

Visitors to the Green Ayre this week can enjoy Aviator, Kamikaze, Rambrau, Ramsbottom Strong Ale and T’owd Tup (while stocks last).

Meanwhile at the Sir Richard Owen, the brewery being showcased all week is Hawkshead, with a visit yesterday from Ben Ray, assistant sales manager, who talked enthusiastically and expertly about the beers. As well as five draught beers from Hawkshead on handpump, Ben brought with him bottled beers for customers to try, along with samples of food to accompany them, and a display of hops and malts used in the brewing process.

Said Ben, “Many people have yet to discover the delights of matching food to beer. In this respect beer is actually more versatile than wine. The right combination can enhance the flavours and aromas of both the dish and the ale.”

To prove his point the audience was invited to try Hawkshead organic stout with blue cheese, Lakeland Gold with smoked cheese, and Brodie’s Prime with dark chocolate. Ben also suggested that Red went well with a curry and the Lakeland Lager with fish and sea food generally.

Hawkshead brews on draught all this week at the Sir Richard Owen: Bitter, Red, Lakeland Gold, Brodie’s Prime and Five Hop.

Speaking for Lunesdale CAMRA, press officer Julian Holt said: ”The management at the two pubs are to be congratulated on this initiative. These excellent ales from two much loved regional brewers are a reminder of how lucky we are to have such quality so close to home. It’s a success story all round — craft brewing is going from strength to strength, as is Wetherspoon’s role in offering fantastic choice at very reasonable prices.&rdquo