Three Lancaster pubs to host 14th annual beer and pie festival

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Three city pubs are gearing up for their annual Beer and Pie festival this weekend.

Merchants 1688, the Stonewell Tap, and The White Cross are running their celebration of all things pie and beer from Thursday April 25 until Sunday April 28.

Now in its 14th year, the Lancaster Beer And Pie Festival will feature a pie eating contest at The White Cross Pub on Saturday, April 27, at 1pm, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK.

The festival, which started in 2015 and features 35 different real ales, 20 keg craft beers and 20 varieties of pies, is one of many culinary events that take place annually in the city, including the Lancaster Food and Drink Festival, Fiesta Italia, Chilli Fest, Lancaster Beer Festival and the more recent Gin Fest.

Organiser and pub landlord Tim Tomlinson said: “The idea back in 2005 was to bring together two of the most British of things, the pie and the pint for a weekend of indulgence, and the formula has been very popular every year since.

“The pie eating competition always attracts a good crowd and I think last year’s record of 4 mins 53 secs will be hard to beat.

“If you know a super fast eater who thinks they can compete they will have to eat three pies and drink a pint of real ale or cider in the quickest time to win a gallon of beer.

“Contact the White Cross to sign up for the competition which starts at 1pm on Saturday.”

This year’s pies include rabbit and chorizo, beef, Guinness and black pudding, alongside several vegan and vegetarian pies.

All of the pies at The Merchants will be Gluten Free.

Beers include Black Edge NZP3 (3.9%), Empire Rum Porter (4.7%), Brick Brewery Peckham Pils (4.8%) and Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery’s Imperial Stout coming in at a leg wobbling 8.3%.

Last year over 1,100 pies and more than 4,500 pints of beer were sold across the three pubs.

There will also be live music and DJs playing across the weekend.

PIE FACTS

• The Ancient Egyptians ate pies made with ground oats or wheat wrapped around honey or figs.

• Romans would use meats, oysters, mussels and fish as the filling and a mixture of flour, oil and water to keep it all in place.

• The Guinness World Record for the most expensive meat pie ever sold goes to the Fence Gate Inn in Lancashire which sold its pie for £8,195 - or £1,024 a slice.

• In 1644, Oliver Cromwell banned pie as he decided it was a ‘pagan form of pleasure’.

• Last year, the ‘Make wrongly describing a casserole with a pastry lid as a pie a criminal offence’ petition earned 5,687 signatures.

• To eat humble pie derives from ‘Umble pie’, a pie made from the innards of deer, was said to be a dish for the lower classes.