Festival organisers vow to keep the beer flowing all weekend

GATESHEAD Beer Festival begins today with organisers hoping to keep all their pumps flowing until the very end.

The town’s annual celebration of beer – which still has some tickets available for today and Sunday, though Saturday is sold out – will see 140 beers grace the 50 hand pumps set up on the bar in Gateshead Rugby Club, on Eastwood Gardens, Low Fell.

For North East ale fans there are a host of offerings from local producers, including Allendale Brewery, Jarrow Brewery, Durham Brewery, Consett Ale Works, Cullercoats Brewery, Gambling Man Brewing Company, Anarchy Brew Co, Sonnet 43 Brew House, Out There Brewing Co, Black Paw Brewery, Wylam Brewery, Mordue Brewery & Big Lamp Brewery.

“It’s an enjoyable festival, everyone always seems to have a good time at it,” said organiser Phil Crawley. “It’s a nice community event, and always has a good spirit.”

Fellow organiser Jonathan Aslet said it was now a source of pride that now in it’s fourth year, the festival had never run out of beer by the end of Sunday.

“Our first year, we underestimated demand quite considerably, but we begged & borrowed and kept it going right until the end,” he said.
“We’ll make sure that the pumps are still going at the end of Sunday.”
“It’s hard work on Saturday, changing all of the barrels.”

The festival opens from 12pm on May 3, May 4 and May 5, with music – provided by local bands including Bessie and the Zinc Buckets, Dust Town Dogs, Jen Stevens and the Hiccups, The Lounge Lizards, Scratch the Surface, Superheat, Karnival Kids, The Beth Macari Band, Skylark Song, George Welch, Dalaro, and Jonny Boyle – starting at 4pm today and 12.45pm on Saturday and Sunday.

As well as the beer there will also be a cider bar with 25 different appley delights – including the Tempest and Thisley Cross collaboration Snakebite from Scotland – a Cava bar, and food in the form of paella, chips, curry and sausages from a local butcher featuring one of the ales.

Tickets, costing £5 for Friday and £8 for Sunday, are available from the festival website, with beer priced £1.50 a half pint and cider £1.80 a half pint after that.