Only here for the beer

Organisers of a previous Lytham Beer & Cider Festival roll out the barrels. Pictured are David Wood, Russell Cobb, Ray Jackson and Gary Levin.

Organisers of a previous Lytham Beer & Cider Festival roll out the barrels. Pictured are David Wood, Russell Cobb, Ray Jackson and Gary Levin.

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It’s cheers my dears as the sixth Lytham Beer & Cider Festival prepares to roll out the barrels at the Lowther Pavilion, Lytham on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, next week.

This year’s sponsors are Forbes Solicitors, Windmill Homes, Lytham Brewery and Thwaites Brewery and almost 90 real ales will be on offer over the three days.

The beer list is, as usual, a mix of festival favourites and new brews for the tickers. Local breweries (such as Lytham and Fuzzy Duck) will be well represented and many styles of beer will be available, with flavours as diverse as chilli, vanilla, chocolate and heather.

The Cider Bar features its usual good selection of real ciders and perries, catering for all tastes from sweet to dry, strong to not-so-strong.

As well as home-grown ale, there will, as usual, be a World Beers Bar, showcasing beer from across Europe and beyond – this year including Pannepot, a Belgian beer recently voted the world’s best by visitors to the Ratebeer website.

Virtually all the exported Pannepot goes to the USA, so obtaining this spicy, rich, complex (and extremely strong) beer is a real coup. There will also be two German beers from this year’s Oktoberfest.

Live music will, as usual, be a key feature of the festival.

On Friday night, Blackpool band The Heat will be rocking and on Saturday evening Captain’s Crew who will lend a more Celtic feel to the proceedings.

This year the festival will be experimenting with a 5pm opening time on Thursday. Friday and Saturday it opens at noon.

The festival closes at 11pm nightly.

Admission is £3 on Thursday evening, £4 on Friday and Saturday (CAMRA members and card-carrying students – £1 all sessions).

For the first time festival-goers can beat the queue by booking tickets in advance (contact www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk ).