Volunteers struggle to keep up as drinkers prefer blondes at Gateshead Beer Festival

VOLUNTEERS struggled to keep up as hundreds of festival-goers enjoyed the sunshine on the second day of Gateshead Beer Festival.

“It was a brilliant day,” said organiser Jonathan Aslet. “We couldn’t change barrels fast enough.

“Fruit beers and blondes were particularly popular. Al Cherry Pet from Mordue went very quickly and Yorkshire Brewing Company Supernatural Blonde seemed to go off almost as soon as it came on – but that was true of all blondes.

“The numbers through the gates this year were bigger than last. We’re growing – though I’m not sure we can make it much bigger.

“What makes it work well is we’ve got the bar for people to sit and talk, you can sit in the lounge and chill, or you can go out to the marquee for the music.

“If you go bigger then the beer might be in the same room as the music and some people might not like that. Also, we’ve got a limited number of helpers and there is only so much you can ask people before they go ‘no’.”

Among the beers to sell out was Thornbridge’s Jaipur, which sold 1,152 half pints in less by 8pm on the Saturday.

Music included Daloro, the Beth Macari Band, Karnival Kids, Skylark Song, Jen Stevens and the Hiccups, Super Heat ft. Wendy Saint, and Dust Town Dogs.

And Jonathan thanked Tony Brookes and the Head of Steam chain for their support in helping to provide the extra barrels of beers needed to meet demand.