The first Real Ale Trail was in Flintshire in 2010. North Wales marketing expert Shelly Barratt came up with the idea to bring new customers to the alarming number of small local rural pubs which were in real danger of closing down.
The first event suffered at the hands of the good old Welsh weather, but still brought in 240 more people on a wet Saturday night than these pubs would normally have attracted. Since then, the Trails have continued to grow and now attract up to 1200 people to a single event, with visitors turning up from all over the UK and even overseas to be part of the Ale Trail.
We now have eight Trails running twice a year in Snowdonia, Conwy, Flintshire, Wrexham, Wirral, Arfon, Cheshire and Cardiff, with hundreds of different ales to sample.
The boom in micro breweries, the production of independent ales and the new pubs and ales regularly being added means that there is always something new to experience.
Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable day out with friends, the ale trail has a direct impact on tourism and the local economy.
Each year the Real Ale Trail transports thousands of people straight to the doors of small country pubs and brings over £300,000 to each counties rural economy.
The rural pubs all gear up for this small ale festival. They employ more bar tenders, cooks, cleaners and the list goes on. More than 70 people in either a full time or part time capacity now work the festival in some form or another. Indirectly, the Real Ale Trails support the employment of local people through the purchase of supplies too, think micro brewery, BnB’s, bus companies, designers, printers, hotels, taxis…everyone gets a lift from the event!
“What a brilliant day. Never been on an ale trail before but will definitely be an annual event for us and our friends! Majority of the pubs really went to great effort with ales, music/bands/djs and food etc. Well done to all involved in making this event so fantastic!”
Are you a pub or a brewery who would like to start or join a Real Ale Trail? Well we’d love to hear from you! We are always looking to vary and extend our ale trails. Get in touch via the form below.