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1,000 crowd is no small beer for real ale festival!; VILLAGE HALL NEARLY DRUNK DRY AS ANNUAL EVENT NOTCHES UP A RECORD.

Byline: ARRYN BUGGINS

A RECORD crowd turned out for the 12th Harbury Beer Festival at the weekend and almost drunk the place dry.

Just a few dozen gallons remained of the 4,000 pints that went on sale for the two-day festival, which ended on Saturday night.

The event had an animal theme.

The most popular beer came from the north Warwickshire brewers, Church End. Called Bats in the Belfry, it has a hint of pineapple.

Another favourite was a Norfolk lager called Brimstone, normally only available in bottles The brewers put the 6.5percent drink in a cask for the first time especially for the festival.

All the visitors were asked to vote for their favourite beer and each of the 47 drinks received at least one vote.

They were charged between pounds 1.60 and pounds 2.20 for a pint at the event held at Harbury Village Hall.

John Crossling, festival organiser and member of the Heart of England branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said: "I think we were pretty close to getting 1,000 people there.

"After a lull last year, we are back on track.

"The bulk of the people come from the Coventry and Leamington area, but we also had Camra visitors from Enfield, Cardiff and Manchester.

"We are one of the smallest beer festivals in the country but our reputation means that people look out for the date and travel some way to join us."

Food and soft drinks were provided by members of Harbury youth club and their profit of more than pounds 3,600 will be used to help the campaign for a skateboard park in the village.

Organisers are looking for more people to join the branch and help with the festival, on which planning starts in April each year. Phone Mr Crossling on 01926 613256.

CAPTION(S):

BLISS: Dave Thomas (above) from Cardiff relishes his pint of Bats in the Belfry, and (below) happiness by the caskful for festival organiser John Crossling Pictures: MARK RADFORD
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 2, 2002
Words:339
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