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First pint pulled at start of 33rd Durham Beer Festival
THE first pint has been pulled at the start of what has become a marathon real ale festival, now spanning four days.
Following the increased support and interest in locally-produced cask ales by a growing number of regional micro-breweries, organisers of the Durham Beer Festival decided to add an extra evening session to this year’s event.
The 33rd festival, firmly back in recent years at its traditional home of Dunelm House, the Students’ Union building in New Elvet, Durham, features 120 beers plus 30 ciders and perries.
But for those who prefer grape to grain, a variety of wines are added to the festival ‘menu’ for the first time.
The Battle of the Beers accolade, voted for by drinkers themselves, will be eagerly contested, as ‘holders’ Allendale Brewery, from Northumberland, aims to defend its title, but with strong competition expected from other regional ‘stables’, Gambling Man, Yard of Ale, Temptation, Hill Island, Just a Minute and successful newcomers Sonnet 43 Brew House, from Coxhoe, near Durham.
Mark Hird, of Sonnet 43 Brew House and Tavistock Leisure, was given the honour of pouring the first pint at 6pm today (Wednesday August 28), following a two-hour ‘trade’ session for guests of organisers from the Durham branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.
Representatives of Durham’s Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition were among the guests as one of the specially -produced beers on offer this year is Insular Art, by Sonnet 43, in celebration of the distinctive writing style of the historic manuscript.
Following today’s (Wednesday August 28) added extra evening session, the festival will run from 11am to 11pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, (August 29 - 31).
Further information is available on the festival page of the Durham Camra website, www.camradurham.org.uk, while the website bit.ly/15fOE-Ho contains the full list of beers, ciders and perries on offer.
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