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Bread and Bitter customers have drunk the house dry in the pub’s first Bank Holiday beer festival. From Thursday 27 May, nearly 3,000 pints of 40 guest real ales from 29 separate breweries were consumed by the hundreds who visited the pub on Nottingham’s Mapperley Top.

Deputy manager and festival organiser, John Francis, says this total doesn’t include the sales of the pub’s regular ales from Fuller’s, Castle Rock and Batemans. “First to go were locally brewed beers including Mallard’s Duck ‘n’ Dive. All have a well deserved loyal following,” he says. “Copper Dragon brewery’s Golden Pippin, was the surprise favourite of the first day as it too was soon supped dry.

Caption: (l-r) Bread and Bitter regulars, Helen Wade and Nigel Woollen, with deputy manager, John Francis, and manager, James Halfpenny in the ‘snug cellar’ created to hold the racks of casks.

“Now we’re faced with calls to make this more regular than the annual event planned,” says John.

Beers for the festival were chosen by ballot with regulars invited to pick their favourite real ales from the possible 4,000 available from the UK’s 700 or so real ale breweries.

“As a free house, we’re among the few that can really pick whatever the customer wants. Even now, there’s loads to go at as we’ve only used one tenth of one per cent of what’s on offer,” says John.