There’s a double dose of hailing the ale in the next few weeks.

While next week’s Colchester Winter Beer Festival looks set to be another popular haunt for beer lovers, preparations are also well underway for the Chappel Winter Beer Festival.

That will take place on March 2 and 3, and is jointly organised by the East Anglian Railway Museum and the Campaign for Real Ale.

With a variety of beers from small breweries and some rarer drinks not usually available in Essex, entry is free for museum or Camra members, as well as season ticket holders on the Gainsborough Line.

The event opens at 11am on the Friday and closes at 11pm, but entry after 5.30pm will be by pre-purchased ticket only. The event again runs from 11am until 11pm on the Saturday. People can once again catch the train to the event from Marks Tey, with the hourly service to Chappel and Wakes Colne, seven days a week, and the East Anglian Railway Museum just seconds away from the station. For more information visit

Organised by the Colchester Camra, and now in its 11th year, the Colchester Beer Festival runs from Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 11pm. With 140 real ales from all over East Anglia, plus real cider and perry, there’s also live music on the Saturday with the Bijous Toots.