8:20am Friday 25th May 2012
By Andrew Ffrench
REAL ale enthusiasts will descend on a pub in Wantage today for the start of a three-day beer festival.
Landlord Pete Fowler is staging the event for the second year running at The Shoulder of Mutton in Wallingford Street.
Mr Fowler, 60, took over the pub and invested £250,000 in the business two years ago. And in March, it was named pub of the year by the White Horse branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.
Camra praised Mr Fowler for reviving the fortunes of the local and serving an ever-changing selection of ales.
Father-of-two Mr Fowler, who lives on the premises and brews his own beer, said: “We held the festival for the first time last year, but on a much smaller scale and it completely sold out.
“There will be 35 guest beers and we are calling the festival Spring into Summer.
“This pub has become quite popular with folk music fans – there’s something about folk music and real ale that goes together.
“Tonight there will be about 25 musicians performing in the main bar.
“We have folk music nights regularly and also belly dancing, so there is plenty to entertain drinkers.”
Pints at the festival include Mr Fowler’s own beers along with ales from Bowman Brewery and Butts Brewery.
Mr Fowler added: “As well as beers brewed locally, they will also come from further afield.
“In recent years, real ale has had a real resurgence, and some brewers are actually running out of stock.
“There is a huge demand for good real ale these days and things are now going very well at the pub.”
The festival starts today at 10.30am and runs from 10.30am to midnight until Sunday.
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