Cheers to fest!

Getting ready for Poulton Beer festival are L-R Darren Woodcock, Simon Townall, Rick Mercer, Marie Ayrton, Tom Mercer, Ben Sumner and Vin Hamer.

Getting ready for Poulton Beer festival are L-R Darren Woodcock, Simon Townall, Rick Mercer, Marie Ayrton, Tom Mercer, Ben Sumner and Vin Hamer.

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ROLL out the barrels – here comes the second annual Poulton Beer Festival.

The unique festival, which sees five of Poulton’s pubs teaming up to serve the best in cask conditioned ale, is back by popular demand from Monday until August 27.

Joining forces are The Thatched House, The Golden Ball, The Bull, The Old Town Hall and The Grapevine, with more than 125 real ales to be sampled over the eight days.

And this year drinkers can collect 
“beer miles” along the way to earn themselves free pints and limited 
edition T-shirts.

“The idea is that people collect tasting notes at each of the five pubs,” says Thatched landlord Vin Hamer.

“As well as details of each of the available ales and ciders there will be the number of miles the drink has travelled to be with us.”

Each mile scores a point and 500 points make a pint.

“Or collect 1,000 miles for a T-shirt.

“It’s an initiative which we hope will see drinkers moving from one pub to another, because they won’t know in advance which drinks are available from which venue, on any one day, until they get there,” says Vin.

“Last year’s event was a bit of an experiment, but it worked very well, and although we are obviously in competition with each other the rest of the year, this is a good way of promoting the whole of Poulton,” said Darren Woodcock, from The Grapevine.

“Some of us have bands, some of us have large sports screens, but for these eight days we all team up to promote the real ales on offer.

“We have marketed and promoted this year’s festival a lot further afield, so we are hoping to attract drinkers from far and wide.”

Unlike traditional “under one roof” festivals, Vin says the Poulton version benefits by being held in different locations and people being able to make it into a special occasion.

“I think it appeals to people who perhaps wouldn’t go out or would just stay in one pub all evening,” said Vin. “It certainly boosts interest in real ales – even in the pubs which didn’t have a reputation for them before.

“And when people start collecting the beer miles I think it will be like a badge of honour, especially for those who collect enough for the limited edition T-shirts.”