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Old Town pubs demonstrate pulling power with a real ale alliance

Publicans in Hull’s Old Town formed a real ale alliance to target visitors to the city's recent Freedom Festival – with the aim of keeping them coming back.

The licensees of some of the city’s most historic pubs saw Freedom as the ideal opportunity to put their premises on the map with the launch of the Hull Ale Trail.

Some of the more recent additions to the city’s social scene have also backed the project which aims to get across the message that high quality real ale is available year-round and not just at festival time.

Armed with a dedicated website and a printed guide to the pubs, the licensees urged festival-goers to beat the crowds around Humber Street and Hull Marina by taking a beer break in stylish and atmospheric surroundings which are only a few minutes away from where the festival was located.

Alan Murphy, licensee of the Lion and Key, WM Hawkes and Walters Bar, said: “We decided to get together and promote our area of the city centre and we recognised that what we all have in common is our commitment to real ale.

“We must have nearly 100 real ales between us, and many of them are from the local area. The real ales in my pubs all come from within 50 miles of Hull as a result of our policy of supporting small businesses and using local produce.”

Mike Woollas of Ye Olde White Harte in Silver Street added: “I wanted to do something like this a few years ago but it was difficult at that time to get people interested.

“Now we all know each other and we have decided to work together. The opening of the new bridge over the River Hull gives us an opportunity to attract people in from East Hull and beyond and it also makes us very convenient for guests from the Premier Inn.”

The remaining five pubs on the Hull Ale Trail are the Sailmakers Arms and Ye Olde Black Boy in High Street, The George Hotel  in Land of Green Ginger, the Manchester Arms in Scale Lane and Ye Olde Corn Exchange in Lowgate.

Prior to the Festival, Alan said: "“We’re really looking forward to the Freedom Festival but we’re aware that the pubs and pop-up bars round there will be very busy so we want people to remember that the Hull Ale Trail is only round the corner – you can get here, enjoy a pint of real ale and get back to the festival again in the time it will take to get served in some places.

“All the Hull Ale Trail pubs are very nice and they all serve a wide selection of excellent beer in very pleasant surroundings. Hopefully people visiting the Freedom Festival from the local area and out of town will come and see us and recognise that we’re worth a future visit in our own right.”

Pictured: Alan Murphy, licensee of Lion and Key, WM Hawkes and Walters Bar (photography by Karl Andre).

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Business highlight

Old Town pubs demonstrate pulling power with a real ale alliance

Licensees of some of the city’s most historic pubs put their premises on the map

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