Shropshire Star

Enginuity counting down to its first-ever beer festival

Visitors to Coalbrookdale later this week will have a choice of 24 beers to tantalise their taste buds at the first-ever Coalbrookdale Beer Festival.


The Engine Shop, at Enginuity, in Coalbrookdale, will be hosting the festival on Friday and Saturday.

Provided by Hobson’s, Dorset Brewery Company and Ales R Russ, visitors are invited to down their drinks while listening to live music from local bands and tuck into sausage rolls, pasties, cakes and bakes.

Local bands taking part in the event include Grace Acoustic Duo, Two Thirds Green, Claire L Shaw, Shire-ish Rovers and Doctor’s Orders.

Sarah Roberts, archivist at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “People might be surprised to learn that Abraham Darby was originally an apprentice in the brewing industry.

"Malting ovens were fuelled by coke, and this experience undoubtedly contributed to Darby developing, in 1709, his coke-fuelled blast furnace in Coalbrookdale, which paved the way for the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution.”

Darby also set up a malthouse and a brewery in Coalbrookdale, which raised valuable income.

An allowance of beer brewed by the Coalbrookdale Company was given to the workmen; the heaviest consumption was by workers at the puddling furnaces, where the extreme heat meant they would drink up 12 pints of what was known as “small beer” (between 0.5% and 2.8% alcohol content) a day.

Abbie King, chief operating officer at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the first Coalbrookdale Beer Festival.

"It will be an opportunity for people to try different craft beers and enjoy music from local groups, in the historic setting of Coalbrookdale.”

There will be three sessions: Friday, September 29 from 6 to 11pm, Saturday, September 30, 12 to 5pm and Saturday, September, 30, 6 to 11pm.

A ticket for one session costs £10 and includes a free glass to take away and two half pints.

Tickets can be bought in advance online and on the door.

It is also possible to come and buy beer to take away, in which case it is necessary for customers to bring their own container.

For more information about this and other autumn events at Ironbridge Valley of Invention, visit

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