Calling all real ale fans

A BEER festival celebrates its silver anniversary next month with more than 500 beers and ciders to sample, as well as live music.

The Campaign for Real Ale and the East Anglian Railway Museum will host the 25-year-old Chappel Beer Festival from September 6 to 10 in Wakes Colne, Essex.

This year’s festival will feature six bars holding some 450 beers with 70 ciders and perries.

Three brewery bars from local brewers, Bartrams, Brentwood and Shalford, will give drinkers the opportunity to not only drink the ales but to talk with the brewers who made them.

There will also be a large food court, live music on Friday and Saturday evening, troupes of Morris men and a performance from the Red Barrows wheelbarrow display team.

Festival organiser Brendan Sothcott said the event had become bigger than any of the original organisers could have imagined.

He said: “It’s quite outstanding how this festival has grown and keeps growing, yet retains its fun atmosphere.

“It’s a great chance to try many real ales not normally seen in the area and help raise money for the museum at the same time.”

The proceeds of the festival will be donated to the East Anglian Railway Museum, a working museum dedicated to preserving the history of railways in the Eastern counties.

National Express is to provide late-night trains to help drinkers get home safely.

For tickets and more information, go to www.chappelbeerfestival.org.uk.