CAMRA’s reigning National Pub of the Year, the Bridge End Inn in Ruabon, held its 3rd annual Bank Holiday Beer Festival over the weekend of 24th – 27th August. The pub has thrived over the last few years since current owners the McGiverns took over and for this festival it was even busier than usual – no surprise given a choice of over 30 beers and live music from local bands Tribeca, Bandjack and Mad Ed. While those three are all regulars at the pub, there was also a first as Graham Wibling DJ’d a successful Motown disco on Friday 24th August.
During the course of the weekend, the pub sold over 250 gallons of beer and drew in visitors from far and wide. Matt McGivern, son of licensee Peter McGivern and brewer at McGivern Ales, told Wrexham.com, “It was brilliant to see people joining us from places as far away as Preston and Birmingham, and great that the weather was good enough to allow them to enjoy the music in our beer garden.”
When picking the drinks for the festival, the younger McGivern tried to ensure there was something for everyone when it came to beer, with drinks ranging in strength from Oakham York Red at 3.7% to Red Willow Soulless at 7.2%, and including fruit beers like Burton Bridge Damson Porter, stouts, pale ales, and traditional bitters. Unsurprisingly, his own Decipher and Gambit ranked as two of the most popular beers with Bridge End regulars.
Festival-goer Kenneth Robbins said “Like their last festival the Bridge End Inn Ruabon drew me and my family to join in the atmosphere with a great selection of real ales and live music. We all enjoyed it and will endeavour to be at the next one!” He also chose his favourite three beers, picking Fernandes Irish Stout, which Matt McGivern’s programme notes describes as “A rich and robust dry stout.”, Happy Valley Black Magic, “A rounded flavour of traditional Stout and Porter.”, and Worsthorne Old Trout, “The red/brown ale is a homage to the peaty, trout-rich waters that abound in the hills around Worsthorne.”
If you haven’t visited the Bridge End before, don’t leave it until next year’s festival to check it out – you’re assured of a warm welcome in the pub of the year whenever you go.
Weekly quizzes are held from 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and whenever there are upcoming live music or other special events they can be found at http://www.mcgivernales.co.uk/page6.html