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Online Beer and Wine: All ale Bridgnorth beer festival!
Peter Thorpe is a man with a plan.
“It’s quite difficult when you are presented with 63 beers,” he says, weighing up the challenge ahead.
“You have to be quite disciplined about how you do it.”
It is his first visit to the Bridgnorth Beer Festival, although he is something of a veteran of the real ale scene and he knows his way around.
“Without wanting to sound to train-spotterish, you have to have a plan,” says the 56-year-old from Bishop’s Castle, as he acquaints his taste buds with Dark Star Espresso.
“There’s so much information on the internet now, you can see all the tasting notes beforehand, so you can decide what you want to try before you get here.”
Peter, who is attending the three-day festival with Julia Bath, 58, reveals his Achilles heel.
“My problem is that I will try anything,” he says. “You get people who are quite narrow about it, who will only try certain types, but I will drink anything, I want to discover more.
“I tend to stick to the weaker beers, as it means you can try more of them. But I like the dark beers, and they tend to be heavier and stronger. So I go for the weaker versions of those.”
While Britain’s pubs close at the rate of 29 a week, beer festivals appear to be more popular than ever as demand for real ale reaches a record high.
According to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young, the number of micro breweries in Britain has grown from 291 in 2013/14, to 361 in 2014/15, while the number of applications to HM Revenue and Customs to launch new breweries has nearly trebled over the past five years.
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