main CAMRA site

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

CAMRA Lunesdale

Ale feast at ale fest

local Wetherspoon’s pubs come up trumps

Wetherspoon’s latest spring event — billed as The World’s Biggest International Real Ale Festival — has been hailed as a resounding success by CAMRA members who sampled the beers at the three outlets in Lancaster and Morecambe.

Lunesdale CAMRA members visited The Eric Bartholomew, Green Ayre and Richard Owen and tried 17 beers. Their verdict: a terrific range of beers, all in good condition. They also had good words for the friendly management and for the way the festival is run, particularly the third of a pint glasses and the tasting notes and programme booklet. At the Richard Owen, shift leader Anthony Kitching welcomed the CAMRA group and spent 20 minutes with them discussing the festival.

Though the tasters had their individual preferences, there were no criticisms of beer quality, and everyone was impressed by the variety of styles on offer. Bar staff were friendly and helpful, identifying the beers purchased in biro on the tray mats — very useful when ordering three “ thirds” at the same time!

Press Officer Julian Holt, said, “ Congratulations to everyone connected with this venture, particularly staff who worked very hard to ensure that all the beers were on form. The festival — in my view Wetherspoon’s best yet — offers a chance to try a stunning range of bitters plus dark ales, fruit beers and everything in between, all at one session.”

He added, “ The foreign beers, “ one offs” and hard-to-find brews make this event a memorable tasting experience. The festival gives a great opportunity to discuss and enjoy new beers and compare notes with colleagues.”

Favourites? Gunhill (The Green Ayre), a 4% bitter brewed exclusively for the festival by Adnams was variously described as “ a cracking beer” and “ absolutely glorious — rich and fruity, with a dark chocolate aroma.” Beer of the festival for some.

Also popular was Bush Berry Porter (4.5%) (Richard Owen) from Australia’s Baron’s brewery: “ Interesting”...“Nice and fruity, smooth”...“Lovely”..., Hook Norton’s3.8% Jackpot (Eric Bartholomew), described as “ full-flavoured”, which “ went very well with the curry with which we started the evening,” and Gosnold’s Glory, a dark 4.5% brew (Green Ayre) from Greene King - “ excellent balance of hops and malt, very tasty — my favourite!”

The Wetherspoon festival runs until Monday 4 May. Try it!