TWO dads from Davenham are champing at the bit to get their refreshing new business on the road.

Jonathan Annet and Colin Jaffray already have a number of bookings for their innovative mobile bar Ale on a Bale, which will be officially launched at a party in May.

The pair have converted a vintage horse trailer into a bar to serve real ales, ciders, wines and soft drinks at private and public events.

"We thought you often go to various carnivals and festivals, get a poor quality product and get ripped off, so we came up with the idea of converting a horse box into a mobile bar specialising in real ale," Jonathan said.

Colin added: "You take your family out to a village fair or event in a park and go for a refreshing drink and what you get is a warm can of something horrible that costs you a fortune.

"We both agreed that surely we can do it better than that."

Jonathan, a former airline pilot, found himself in semi-retirement when he had his licence withdrawn because of a medical condition.

A member of Davenham Cricket Club, he got more involved with volunteering behind the bar and, after six months, became the bar manager.

"After a period of time we turned it around, increased turnover got a CAMRA accreditation and got into the Good Beer Guide," he said.

"That's where my introduction to real ale came from."

Colin also volunteered behind the cricket club bar while between careers and became assistant manager.

Jonathan said: "He was in a similar career situation as myself and wanted to do something different so we joined forces and Ale and a Bale was born."

They found a horse trailer on eBay and set about converting it, with branding carried out by Parker Design Consultants, based at Cheshire Business Park, in Lostock Gralam.

The pair also had to work out how best to transport their ales.

"Trying to work out how to keep and serve real ale is a difficult thing," Colin said.

They have invested in a refrigerated trailer as a mobile cellar to keep their ales at the right temperature and will use beers that have been through an extra filtration stage that will allow it to stay more settled despite being moved.

They are also using vertical stillage system to allow them to store casks on their end but tap them and serve beer from the top.

They will appear at #JOSHFest, at Marbury Country Park, on April 30, Davenham Carnival on June 11 and the Guardian-inspired Pedal Power Festival, at Marbury Country Park, on June 12.

The Ale on a Bale launch party takes place at Riverside Organic, in Whatcroft, at 7pm on May 14.

Tickets, priced £5, are available at Davenham Cricket Club or Riverside Organic.