The St Albans Beer Festival and the Tom Thumb connection

PUBLISHED: 10:36 17 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

The Mayor, Cllr Bert Pawle and Beer Festival publicity organiser John Bishop with 18-th century pewter tankards from the museum exhibition

The Mayor, Cllr Bert Pawle and Beer Festival publicity organiser John Bishop with 18-th century pewter tankards from the museum exhibition

MAYOR Bert Pawle raised a glass to the success of a travelling exhibition which will sit alongside the annual St Albans Beer Festival next week. The unusual exhibition displays drinking paraphernalia and historic images from the St Albans Museums collecti

MAYOR Bert Pawle raised a glass to the success of a travelling exhibition which will sit alongside the annual St Albans Beer Festival next week.

The unusual exhibition displays drinking paraphernalia and historic images from the St Albans Museums collection and gives a brief history of brewing and drinking in the district.

It provides such information as where Charles Dickens and Tom Thumb stayed, how a peahen can swallow a woolpack and why it's best to duck when arriving at the White Hart.

St Albans has a long history of links with the ale and beer industry with the growth of the Abbey leading to a boom in establishments selling drinks as guesthouses catered for pilgrims and other travellers.

When beer replaced ale in popularity, St Albans boasted a number of coaching inns that catered for travellers to London and provided stables for their horses.

As a result in the 21st century, there is evidence of almost 1,000 years of beer and ale production and consumption in St Albans.

The exhibition can be seen at the Beer Festival which runs at the Alban Arena from next Wednesday, September 24, to Saturday.

The biggest ever beer festival in Herts, it is run by CAMRA and up to 300 real ales will be available. Further information can be found on the website www.stalbansbeerfestival.com

Blob* The 2009 edition of the Good Beer Guide published by CAMRA has received massive nationwide media coverage.

Editor Roger Protz, who lives in Charmouth Road, St Albans, said: "Our main news story that cheap supermarket beer, often sold for less than bottled water, is killing the pub trade, struck a chord.

"It's been difficult getting coverage for the guide in the national press in recent years but last week we had strong stories in The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Sun."

Roger also did 20 interviews in the course of a day and penned a 1,500-word article for the Independent on how pubs have to fight back against supermarket "cheapies" by staging beer festivals, charity events and seasonal specials.

The Good Beer guide features seven St Albans pubs and costs £14.99 from bookshops, online at www.camra.org.uk or from the head office at 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans.

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