It’s cheers all round for fans of real ale

Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall.  Pictured are Ray Jackson regional director for CAMRA and festival chairman Paul Smith.
Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall. Pictured are Ray Jackson regional director for CAMRA and festival chairman Paul Smith.
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Hundreds of thirsty real ale fans raised a glass to the Fleetwood Beer and Cider Festival as the popular event returned to the port.

Whether it be a pint of El Dorado beer or a glass of Celtic Marches cider, drinking connoisseurs were treated to dozens of the country’s finest brews at the event, now in its 33rd year.

Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall.  Pictured are Will McElhinney and Andy McElhinney

Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall. Pictured are Will McElhinney and Andy McElhinney

More than 800 people packed into the Marine Hall for the opening night of the port’s special three-day event on Thursday, which is organised by members of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) team.

Chairman Paul Smith said: “It has gone really well so far. We opened around lunchtime and it seemed to be very successful. We had people queueing out of the door to get in.

“A lot of people come from out of the region to taste these drinks – they come here wanting to try different things.

“We expect over the course of the weekend to have more than 2,500 people visiting us.

Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall.  Pictured is cider bar manager Vanessa Gledhill

Fleetwood Beer festival at Marine Hall. Pictured is cider bar manager Vanessa Gledhill

“It gets bigger and bigger every year.”

Beers including the 10 per cent strength Burton Bridge proved popular with punters according to Mr Smith, while others, including Top Dog, an amaretto-flavoured concoction, satisfied tastebuds. The venue was packed at times, with people queuing up to taste some of the 120 beers and ciders being served.

But despite being busy, organisers said they had plenty of staff working hard to make sure people were not left waiting – with more events planned in the region later this year.

Mr Smith added: “We have beers from the north of Scotland to the south of England.

“Plenty of people want to try a variety of drinks and we’ve accommodated them. We hope to bring the Lytham Beer Festival back to Lowther Pavilion in October, then return to Fleetwood in 2016.”

The Fleetwood Beer Festival continues today from midday to 11pm, with entry £3.