LOVERS of all things beer flocked to enjoyed a popular drinks event over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The Harwich Ale Trail took place over five days, during which more than 3,000 pints of ale is estimated to have been downed by about 700 visitors.

Co-ordinated by Shiraz Turvey and Paul Mellor of Wharf Brewery, the event was organised by the owners and managers of the seven venues which took part. 

The trail included the historic port of Harwich, as well as the Alma Inn, Globe Inn, New Bell Inn, Crown Post, Stingray, Kingsway Hall, and Royal Oak, all of which were very busy during the weekend.

It also offered special history-themed events during the five-day experience, presented by the Victoria County History of Essex, the Harwich Town Museum, and the Harwich Society.

There was a lecture on the rich and complex history of Harwich’s pubs, followed by a walk around the town led by Richard Oxborrow and Sue Daish.

Events were also hosted in Dovercourt town centre. 

Paul said: “It had been a good Saturday to finish work and socialise after ensuring all the venues had sufficient stocks. 

Shiraz had the idea for the ale trail when the 2015 Harwich and Dovercourt Winter Ale Festival was cancelled at short notice. She wanted to fill a void in the local ale drinkers’ diaries.

She added: “It was great to see so many new faces in Harwich for the event. Hopefully they’ll be back.

“Although the event was initially created to fill a void in the local calendar it has become something much bigger.

"We wanted to bring people to Harwich for the history as well as the hospitality.

“It looks like we achieved that.”

During the ale trail the seventh book in the Little Pub Books series which highlights Harwich’s Sam’s Wine Bar, formerly known as the Rose and Crown during the 17th and 18th centuries, was also launched. 

The next Ale Trail is pencilled in for May 1 to 5 2025.