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It's the real ale way to score a great try... BOOZE NEWS: City beer festival finds a new home at rugby club.

Byline: By Stephen Hallmark

THIS year's Coventry Beer Festival has a new venue - and the city's rugby club think that's plenty to cheer about.

The annual event, a city tradition which stretches back to the 1970s, is organised by Coventry and Warwickshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).

Last year it was held at Highfield Road but, because the former football ground is now a building site, a new venue had to be found. And into the breach stepped Coventry Rugby Club.

It's a match made in heaven according to Coventry rugby legend and current forwards coach Dave Addleton, who said: "I'm especially pleased that the beer festival will be hosted at the Butts Park Arena.

"I really enjoy all sorts of traditional ales. My favourite is Hobgoblin - and they are a nicer taste than lagers."

More than 1,000 ale drinkers will descend on the stadium, and will be able to choose from more than 70 beers.

Louise Madder, of The Riddings, Earlsdon, Coventry, has the task of setting up the casks and tasting the beer before connecting ale casks to pumps.

Mrs Madder, who works for Coventry City Council and has been involved with the festival since 1994, said: "My husband Mick and I have the most important job - we are looking after the beer cellar.

"We have to let the beer settle before letting the gas out, and then we have to sample it to ensure it's okay.

"I'm really looking forward to the festival' there's so much real ale out there but we rarely get the chance to try so many different ones under one roof."

Some aptly named pints which will be on tap include Butts Park Bitter - specially brewed for the occasion - and Rugby Brewers' Webb Ellis pint.

Julie Humpherson, conference manager at the rugby club, said: "We are very happy to host the festival.

"The club is playing away at London Welsh and the team bus will come back here, so if they win there will be a real party atmosphere."

The two-day festival kicks-off at noon on Friday, at the stadium, in Butts Road, Spon End, Coventry. Admission for the afternoon sessions costs pounds 1, and pounds 2 in the evening (Camra members free).

CAPTION(S):

A GOOD DROP... Camra's Mick Hooper gets stuck in at Coventry RFC. Pictures: James Balfour D31279_2' CHEERS... Coventry Rugby Club's Dave Addleton, Ben Gulliver and James Moore share a pint with Camra's Mick Hooper, Louise Madder and Barry Greener. D31279_2
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 20, 2006
Words:418
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