Two pints of best and an English rosé as wine comes to the beer festival

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Real ale enthusiasts will be given the chance to try the best of British vineyards at an event later this year

Once the butt of jokes among connoisseurs, producers of English wine have worked hard to build respect for the products of their vineyards. But even though they are going through a boom time at the moment – the number of wine businesses in England and Wales has blossomed in the last year – their toughest challenge may be ahead of them this week.

The Great British Beer Festival starts at Olympia in London on Tuesday and will feature a selection of English wines for the first time. Drinkers will be encouraged to swap their pints of Black Sheep’s Holy Grail, Huell Melon and Cornish Knocker for a glass of Exton Park, from a new vineyard in Hampshire, or Chapel Down.

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