Sunderland revellers drink annual beer festival dry in just two days

Staff, Laura Monaghan, Joe Bacon and Michael Wilson with empty glasses after the 4th annual beer festival at Ashbrooke Sports ground proved so popular they ran out of beer after two days.
Staff, Laura Monaghan, Joe Bacon and Michael Wilson with empty glasses after the 4th annual beer festival at Ashbrooke Sports ground proved so popular they ran out of beer after two days.
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DRINKERS drank Sunderland’s annual beer festival dry.

Red-faced organisers were forced to cancel the three-day event 24 hours early after running out of ale.

About 1,000 drinkers made their way to Ashbrooke Sports Club on Friday and Saturday for the festival, enjoying soaring temperatures and the 30 different varieties of beer on offer.

But everyone enjoyed themselves so much that, by 10pm on Saturday, pumps were running dry and even a raid on reserve stocks from the clubhouse failed to quench visitors’ thirsts.

Paul Amundsen, festival organiser and clubhouse manager, said: “We’re very sorry we couldn’t continue into Sunday, but there was no way we could replenish the stocks in that time.

“I wouldn’t mind but we had put 10 extra ales on this year and brought in 800 new glasses in preparation. We even had a new wine and Cava bar.

“I think a mixture of the good weather and social media meant this year was bigger than we’d expected and by 10pm on Saturday, we were struggling.”

Paul and his team say they are now going to have to look at the way tickets are allocated due to the growing success of the event, now in its fourth year.

He added: “The Keswick Beer Festival, which started in 2000, grew and grew and had to become all-ticket.

“I think we will need to look at how we are going to do things next year.”

Drinkers made the most of Saturday’s sunshine, enjoying a cricket match and live music during the afternoon and evening.

Even the 20 large boxes of cider brought in for the weekend failed to last the course.

Claire Robinson, 28, who went along with partner Graham Latham, 31, said the event was busier than she had ever seen before.

Claire, a nursing assistant, added: “It was packed on Saturday night but everyone was having a great time, they really did a good job this year.

“I’m not surprised there was nothing left, I think everyone just decided to come out and make the most of a lovely summer’s night.”

Jack McConville, 19, added: “I’m glad we went on Saturday. I’d have been gutted if I’d waited till Sunday.”

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