Unless you have been living under a rock, you will probably be aware that this coming weekend (24-27 May) is the Tall Ships Festival at the Docks. This is a major event for the city: it takes place every two years and brings huge numbers of people into the city from across the country.
As well as some majestic, historic and interesting tall ships, the festival also includes an excellent line-up of live music, a food and craft market and a motley range of living history characters. If past festivals are anything to go by it should be an excellent event.
Attending such events is thirsty work, so I was delighted to see that the Gloucester Brewery is putting on The Tall Ships Real Ale and Cider Festival in their courtyard and the adjacent Coots Bar. The beer festival will feature not only a range of Gloucester Brewery’s own excellent ales, it will also boast around a dozen award winning ales from other breweries and a range of ciders.
What could be better than taking a break from the hubbub and excitement around the tall ships to enjoy a relaxing pint of real ale or cider? The Gloucester Brewery has put on beer festivals before during such events and I have happy memories of sitting on a hay bale in the sun, pint in hand, just soaking up the atmosphere. Bliss!
And whilst you are enjoying the event in the Docks itself, don’t forget the other pubs in the area. Whilst I am happy to see the Docks and the Quays bursting with people and a range of exciting, modern eating and drinking venues being built to cater for them, I am disappointed that more is not done to include the existing historic pubs that are just a stone’s throw away.
There is Doctor Fosters within the Docks itself, right on the main basin, which will no doubt do a roaring trade during the weekend, and just outside the Docks on Southgate Street the Tall Ship and the Whitesmiths Arms are also well worth a visit.
In an attempt to entice drinkers to sample the city’s excellent historic pubs, I have worked with the good folks at Marketing Gloucester to produce a guide to our most historic pubs. The guide will be available in hard copy later in the year, but meanwhile it is linked to the latest Tall Ships Newsletter as a PDF, or you can see it here.
This week also saw the unveiling of ‘Pub Stops of Gloucester‘ an ingenious tube-style map of the pubs and clubs of Gloucester designed by maths teacher John Coats, containing 101 pubs stretching from Quedgeley through the city centre to Churchdown and even up to Cranham.
So now there is no excuse for not knowing where to go for a drink.
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend – there’s plenty of time to enjoy the Tall Ships, the beer festival and to explore some of Gloucester’s great pubs.
(This is the full version of an article used in today’s Citizen: http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/need-know-Gloucester-Tall-Ships-Festival/story-19065062-detail/story.html)