Monday, 25 June 2012

The beer festival that dared not speak its name

There was beer festival in Southport a couple of weeks ago that I didn't report about on this blog, and which very few people I've come across were aware of. It was part of the Southport Food and Drink Festival, put on by Sefton Council. I had looked at their website, but these were all the details that were there: "The Real Ale Festival will feature an excellent range of locally brewed cask conditioned Real Ales from Southport Brewery, Liverpool Craft Beer Co. and  Peelers Brewery, all served by local favourite the Ship & Mitre. A bespoke collection of the Ship & Mitre's favourite continental bottled beers will also be available including the famous Strawberry Fruli and Erdinger."

I've no idea how sales went, but as publicity goes, that is pretty feeble, and as far as I know, the local branch of CAMRA wasn't notified. I didn't mention it on this blog because there were absolutely no details on the website or in the programme: no mention of opening times, not even whether it opened in the evenings or just during the day, and no indication how many beers might be available or what the venue was like: indoor, outdoor, any seating? Other than it was happening, there was nothing to write about.

The festival was held in Princes Park, which is by the Prom, a bit of a hike from the town centre. I don't know whether the organisers were under the delusion that all you have to say is "beer festival" to get the real ale drinkers running, but those of us with quite a bit of experience in the field can vouch that it's not as simple as that. In the event it was in a small beer tent, you'd have been drinking outdoors from plastic glasses, and from what I can judge there was not much shelter from the elements. There are some pictures on the Ship and Mitre Appreciation Society's Facebook page: click here.

Pity; a bit of a lost opportunity, I feel.


  1. as a beer ticker i would have went just to get the peelers or should that be peerless brewery in which case i wouldn,t have gone. cheers john

  2. Is the Southport food and drink fest related to the Liverpool one (in Sefton Park) I wonder? I'm pretty sure the Ship n Mitre is doing a tent at that one too this year.

    I'm sure it could work quite well if someone could spread the word, but yeah, almost zero info or advertising so far...

  3. I doubt there is any direct relationship between the two; I think the Ship and Mitre hire themselves out to provide beer tents at events. As for Peelers, I can't find a brewery of that name, so it was doubtless meant to be Peerless, which means the minimal information provided by the council was inaccurate.


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