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Ipswich rolls out the barrels

PUBLISHED: 10:21 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

LOVERS of real ale are in seventh heaven this week with the Ipswich Beer Festival coming to town.

The Evening Star's very own beer connoisseur Paul Geater went along to assess this year's brew.

LOVERS of real ale are in seventh heaven this week with the Ipswich Beer Festival coming to town.

The Evening Star's very own beer connoisseur Paul Geater went along to assess this year's brew.

 

BEER sales may be slipping. Lager may be taking over centre stage from real ale.

But at the Corn Exchange this week there's clear evidence that Britain's brewers aren't dead in the water yet!

The 19th Ipswich Beer Festival is underway, giving beer drinkers the opportunity to sample and compare some of the finest brews from across the country.

And the five-day festival got underway with its customary flourish last night.

The first day of the beer festival is always a bit special. Before the public opening, there's always a two-hour session for specially-invited guests.

It's a session full of glorious gossip - where those in the know often drop their guard and where the desire to spill some beans is more powerful than the determination to keep quiet.

It's a session where you can debate whether Woodforde's Wherry is better than Humpty Dumpty Reedcutter one minute, and have an earnest discussion about who's going to the next MP for Ipswich the next.

The first night also saw the launch of Suffolk County Council's new leaflet about brewing in the area.

That was an education in itself for those of us who thought we knew all there is to know about local beers.

Suffolk natives know that the county's beers are the best in the world - but I hadn't realised that the county can claim to the home of English brewing.

The first hops in England were imported from Holland, and arrived in Suffolk. According to the county council they were grown at Dagworth near Stowmarket.

Simon Loftus, from Adnams, who was at the launch of the leaflet "Suffolk in a glass" told us the first hops were grown at Bruisyard, near Framlingham.

As someone brought up on Southwold's own nectar, I know who I believe!

The beer festival will be worth many a visit between now and 11pm on Saturday - and no, I wouldn't dream of repeating the story that the mayor told the council chairman.

After all, I had to keep up the reputation of all journalists when shown hundreds of barrels of beer - and I couldn't possibly remember all the confidences that were broken!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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