Nobody drinks ale in the Wellington Weekly office - so when an invite to attend the Iron Duke's ale festival arrived in our inbox, yours truly was quickly dispatched to take one for the team and work through the free drinks on offer.

The 'try before you buy' event which is running until next week, sees customers given free samples of exotic ales, priced at £2.25 a pint, in the town centre Wetherspoons.

Team leader Taylor in action
Team leader Taylor in action (Tindle )

Without so much as breakfast I arrived at the public house on a cold Monday lunchtime to sample the goods, and the strength of my stomach.

Behind the bar was team leader Taylor, who poured four glasses of ale and described each drink in turn. There was a dark ruby, a 'tropical' pineapple-like ale, a 'blonde' and something all together more pale.

By all accounts the event has proved popular with punters - although a lady at the bar who I invited to have a try would not stray from her tried and tested Carling.

Customers at the Iron Duke are invited to have a taste before parting with their cash
Customers at the Iron Duke are invited to have a taste before parting with their cash (Tindle )

Not being a connoisseur the grammar of ale reviews is beyond me, but they all tasted nice, each one possessing a distinct and clean flavour. In my view, certainly worth the ticket price.

The ale hailed from across the country and even the world. The 'Hoptropolis' is an IPA brewed in Georgia, USA. The award winning brewery is claimed two golds in the Great American Beer Festival among other accolades. His product is said to be 'one of the few' real ales doing well across the pond, and from tasting it, it is not hard to see why.

The event is running until Sunday, October 22, when Wetherspoons across the country are inviting pub goers to try, and then hopefully buy, a measure or two of the speciality ales.