Cheers for beers at Waterloo drinks festival

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Happy beer lovers at the 12th Waterloo Beer Festival. Pic © JMU Journalism

Happy beer lovers at the 12th Waterloo Beer Festival. Pic © JMU Journalism

Numbers may have been down from previous years, but spirits were still high at the 12th Waterloo Beer Festival.

Beers such as Drop O’ Black Stuff, Hop Drop and Some Like It Blonde were consumed over the four-day festival, enjoyed by many an ale and cider lover sat inside the picturesque Old Christ Church.

Mark Hensby, Group Managing Director of Real Ale Events and the Liverpool Organic Brewery which runs the festival, admitted that the Bonfire Night weekend may have affected the turn-out.

He told JMU Journalism: “Friday and Saturday nights we usually sell out at 600 people. We made a mistake this time because I think we put it at the wrong time in November.

“Where we would normally have between 2,000-2,500 people, on this particular festival we only sold 1,200 tickets. It still works, it more than breaks even, but it is not massively profitable with 1,200 people.

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“We’ve got beers that you won’t see in pubs because they don’t come up here, except for festivals like our own.”

By swapping the Liverpool Organic Breweries’ beer with microbreweries across the country, the event was able to feature 150 different brews from all over the United Kingdom.

Mr Hensby explained: “Through the brewery we have built relationships with about 200 microbreweries around the UK.

Half a pint of beer at the 12th Waterloo Beer Festival. Pic © JMU Journalism

Half a pint of beer at the 12th Waterloo Beer Festival. Pic © JMU Journalism

“We swap brewery beer with other microbreweries. In this festival here we didn’t buy any of the beer, the whole lot was obtained through swapping.”

Sarah Whitfield, 54, from Crosby, opted to spend her Bonfire Night with her husband sampling the drinks. She told JMU Journalism: “We’ve been to a few of the beer festivals now. It’s just something different than going to the pub.

“I prefer the ciders but my husband is a very keen beer drinker and likes to try as many as possible through the night.”

The next beer festival organised by Real Ale Events will be the fourth hosted at St George’s Hall and will take place in January.

About Andrew Livingston, JMU Journalism