Real ale festival celebrates 24th year
8:53am Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
THE popular Bent and Bongs Beer Bash will officially open its doors for the 24th time tonight.
Real ale lovers, including music guru Pete Waterman, have flocked to the festival and raised a staggering £370,477 for local charities.
It is hoped this year’s event will see that total top £400,000.
Beer Bash spokesman Paul Coggan said: “We strive to give the money to organisations which are locally based, thereby supporting the community that supports the Festival.”
The beer festival starts with a sponsors session at 5pm today, with the public admitted from 6pm until 11pm.
On Friday, the event is open from 4pm until 11pm, and Saturday’s sessions are noon until 4pm, and 7pm until 11pm.
Last year’s main beneficiary was the Marfan Association UK and this year it will be Childflight.
There will be music and food available at all sessions along with the vast selection of real ales, cider and lager.
As this is the 24th year, the favourite brews served up over the past 24 years have been chosen to head the line-up.
And local pubs will be officially named among the top watering holes in the region by the South East Lancs branch of CAMRA — the Campaign for Real Ale — at tonight’s opening at Formby Hall.
The Jolly Nailor is CAMRA’s pub of the year 2013.
Branch chairman Sarah Bellis said: “This popular local pub has received the award for the quality of the their real ale, real cider, atmosphere and service.
“After being closed and close to being lost forever, it reopened in March, 2010.
“Three years and more than 600 different real ales later, the pub is a thriving venue for ale lovers.”
Branch Club of the Year 2013 is Astley and Tyldesley Miners Welfare Club, at Gin Pit village.
The branch’s Cider Pub of the Year is the Thomas Burke, in Leigh, which is collecting the accolade for the second time.
Members chose Joseph Holt’s Atherton Arms as their Community Pub of the Year.
The Atherton Arms was also selected as the branch’s Winter Pub of the Season.
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