Shropshire Star

All hands to the pumps for town's beer festival

There may be fuel shortages on the forecourt, but organisers say there is no danger of the pumps running dry at a beer festival which opens today.

John Ellis of the Crown Inn

The 48th Telford Beer Festival opens at the Crown Inn at Oakengates today, with bon viveurs open to choose from a range of dozens of beers, whiskies and gins.

The Telford Oktoberfest has also been timed to coincide with Cask Ale Week, which promotes real ales.

Crown owner John Ellis said all his drinks had been secured well before the fuel crisis, and because cask ales are not pressurised, there is no need to worry about the CO2 shortage.

He added that this year there would be an even larger range of bottled beers from abroad.

Mr Ellis said the festival attracted beer lovers from all over the country, and very often it was the new or lesser-known beers that were the stars of the show.

"I have scoured this country and abroad to source some of the newest and most interesting beers, not just in cask, but also well-crafted beers in bottle to put alongside some of the pubs’ regular favourites," he said.

"There is a great interest in tasty new beers, we've offered thousands of them over the last few years.

"There is a lot of talk about “craft beer” at the moment but well-crafted quality beer is what we have always offered."

Mr Ellis said the range would not be quite as large normal this year, but said it would still have one of the largest ranges of drinks around, including dozens of gins and whiskies.

The festival runs until October 4, opening daily from 1pm. It will also host Shropshire's longest running open-mic event tonight, starting at 7.45pm, and Mr Ellis said he expected talented musicians to come from across the region.