The ale was flowing at venues from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Criccieth on Saturday when the Snowdonia Real Ale Trail hit North West Wales. More than 700 revellers sampled some of the finest independent Ales the UK has to offer across 8 venues in the region.
Not that you could manage it, but there were up to 50 real ales supplied by micro-breweries and those in attendance travelled from as far as Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Liverpool, helping to give the Gwynedd economy a major boost.
Organiser Shelly Barratt founded the Ale Trails Company and says while it’s thirsty work, the glass is always half full.
“The festival is so much fun, it’s gone from strength to strength and the numbers are increasing year on year,” said Shelly, from Flintshire. “To have 700 people take part, all of whom are spending their money in local pubs and supporting the economy here in North Wales, is a real bonus.”
Shelly’s Real Ale Trail success has even spilled over into competition, with North Wales Tourism, awarding the festival the title of Magnificent Crowd Puller. “That was a coup for us and we were so thrilled to receive the award because more important than anything is that the people who join us have a fantastic time and make wonderful memories,” said Shelly.
“It’s also had a knock-on effect for small business, with pubs in North Wales and beyond looking to experiment with cask pumps and using more and more local foods and drink suppliers.” “We have a great mix of men and women of all ages, the world of real ale has changed and it’s now much more accessible to all.”
The skill of the event is purely down to the transport and the bus drivers involved, people don’t want to wait for bus ever and Express Motors are the best to work with so we had great transport links thanks to their management of time and patience. “The transport ran like clockwork and the rain didn’t dampen the spirits – it was a great day and we look forward to the next one.”
Barry Jones, landlord at the Ship Aground in Talsarnau, was celebrating the pub’s first inclusion in the trail.
He said: “I was chuffed to be included on the trail; we are a brand new business so this was a great to show people what we are all about in the hope they liked us and will come back.