Raise a glass to beer festival

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Beer and cider connoisseurs will once again gather at the Hightown Community Sports & Arts Centre on York Street for the 33rd Luton Beer and Cider Festival.

The festival, run entirely by volunteers, will showcase the best brews from Bedfordshire and the surrounding area, with over 100 ales and 20 ciders on offer, as well as a selection of bottled beers.

An addition to this year is the National Parks bar, featuring tipples from breweries from some of the UK’s national parks, including Dartmoor, Lake District and Peak District.

Last year saw nearly 2,000 people visit the festival and nearly 7,000 pints of real ale and cider served over the three days.

Festival organiser Mike Coombes said: “Real ale takes real skill to look after and we pride ourselves on being a showcase of how it should be done.

“We aim not only to provide seasoned ale fans with some new and exciting beers to try, but we also want to introduce as many new visitors as possible to the many styles and flavours available in the world of good beer.”

Live music will take places on Friday and Saturday nights.

There will also be cause for celebration on the Thursday night when the 2016 South Bedfordshire CAMRA Branch Pub of the Year will be announced at 8pm.

The festival will be open from Thursday 18th - Saturday 20th February, midday to 11pm. Entry is free to CAMRA members at all times and £3 for non-members on Thursday and Friday, and £2 on Saturday.