Food & Drink
A beer festival with over 200 different beers is happening in Wirral over Easter weekend
2 months ago
The Ship & Mitre’s Beer Festival is coming to Wirral over the Easter bank holiday weekend with more than 200 different beers to choose from.
This will be the 15th festival organised by the Dale Street favourite, bringing together a fantastic selection of lagers, ciders, ales and craft beers from across the UK and Europe as well as great local breweries.
The idea is to recreate the variety of styles that regulars of the Ship & Mitre know and love but on a bigger scale.
Around 3,500 beer lovers are expected to descend on Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight over four days and nights – from Thursday April 6 to Sunday April 9.
There will be afternoon and evening sessions, some with live music from local bands and all with a huge array of taps and bottles.
Ben Garner, manager of the Ship & Mitre, says the event has become a must-go date for regulars and non-regulars, with many returning every year for the chance to sample different varieties.
He explains: “The format tends to stay the same each year because it’s a winning formula but for every festival I always look back on the previous two and try my best not to repeat the beers so when we’re sourcing we make sure there’s always something different and new for people to try.
“Our pub is renowned for having lots of different beers and we replicate that when we take over Hulme Hall for the weekend.
“The hall is set out in sections so we have a craft beer bar, a Belgian beer bar, a cider one, a continental one, real ales and then we also have wines and spirits and the bottle bar. People can try something from them all or stick with one section that they know, it’s up to them.
“They come in and buy a token, and then all the bars are individually priced either by pints or halves, plus there’s spirits and wines. They can just go around the hall and choose whatever they want and we have entertainment on or there’s a quiet room if they prefer that.”
Ben says the festival has been a great way of promoting the pub at a time when lots of businesses, especially in the city centre, are finding it tough with a shift towards working from home.
“Over the four days, each session can have up to a thousand people so we average about 3,500 across the weekend and it’s great for generating business for us because if you go to the beer festival you come away wanting to go to the pub.
“People are appreciating traditional pubs more again because, with the cost of living crisis everyone is price conscious so for them to come out and drink people want to have something they can’t get at home, something unique.
“We’ve got 39 draught beers rolling all the time and probably about 100 bottles as well so that’s why replicating the pub in a festival works so well for us.
“If people come in and say, ‘I had this beer at the festival and really enjoyed it’, if we haven’t got that particular beer on we know we’ll have that style, whether it’s a hoppy one, a strong one, a Belgian one.
“And with real ales we’ve got eight hand pumps that are different every week – always a dark one, always strong ones, and traditional bitter so they may not recognise the beer but they’ll recognise the style and be able to have it again.”