Lancaster pub festival under way

Participating licensees in the Lancaster Pubfest
Participating licensees in the Lancaster Pubfest

A five-day celebration of real ale is a great way to show off Lancaster, says a leading publican.

Tim Tomlinson, landlord of the White Cross, has joined forces with other Lancaster licensees to run the second annual ‘Pubfest’.

Running every day from today until Sunday (September 13), Pubfest is being held in 30 of the city’s pubs.

The festival aims to bring ale drinkers into Lancaster to spend money in the city and boost the economy.

Last year it was held in November but was moved to September because “the weather is nicer, it’s a quieter time of year for the city and we’re doing it conjunction with the Heritage Open Days”, explained Tim.

“It’s to showcase how superb Lancaster is,” he said.

“The range of beer in other north west towns is not as good as you can get in Lancaster.

“We’re the best and we think we should give ourselves a pat on the back.

“We want to attract people in to go to pubs, shop, enjoy a bit of music and the tourism and heritage, and encourage them to come back to Lancaster.

“You can experience some really nice places; everything from the oldest pub involved, the Three Mariners, to some of the more modern ones like the Tap House.”

This year the new Crafty Scholar pub on Church Street (formerly Yates’s) has joined 29 others participating in Pubfest.

Other pubs and bars involved include 1725, the Bobbin, the Robert Gillow, the Merchants, John O’Gaunt, the Golden Lion, the Brown Cow, the George and Dragon, the Green Ayre, the Gregson Centre, the Penny Bank, Pendle Witch, Penny Street Bridge,the Study Room, Sir Richard Owen, Wagon and Horses, the Yorkshire House , the Sun Hotel, Ring o’Bells, Stonewell Tavern, Oscars, the Juke Joint, the Horse and Farrier, the Borough, and the Water Witch.

Around 180 beers will be on offer across the 30 pubs and many bars will be putting on live music.

It has been estimated that cask ale related trade is worth around £16m in revenue to Lancaster city centre businesses.

Last year, in terms of volume growth, it was outperforming the on-trade beer market by 4.5 per cent, and figures showed the UK was drinking 634 million pints of cask ale every year.

The festival was set up aiming to crown Lancaster as ‘the northern city of ale’.