Small beer for the real ale buffs

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A new drought brought misery to Devon yesterday but for once the blame did not fall on global warming or South West Water.

The culprits were 4,000 guzzling real ale buffs who were so enthusiastic in their appreciation of the 126 beers on offer at a beer festival that they drank the place dry. Organisers were devastated as they had to call the event off a day early after the beer-drinkers quaffed more than 14,000 pints in 48 hours.

Many more ale connoisseurs had been hoping to enjoy the final day of the festival but had to be turned away because all 200 casks had been supped. Joanna Webber, one of the organisers of the event, staged at Tucker's Maltings brewery in Newton Abbot, Devon, said more beer would be on offer next year.