MORE than 70 real ales and ciders will be on offer at this week's beer festival in Clacton.

The 23rd Clacton Real Ale and Cider Festival takes place at St James’ Church Hall, in Tower Road, this week.

The four-day event, organised by the Tendring branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), will also include perries, Essex wines, Belgian and other international beers.

There will also be free soft drinks for designated drivers.

Tracey Forshaw, organiser of the event, said: “We have a few new items for the festival this year.

“We have the White Hart Ale Club, from the pub in Weeley, doing a bar take over on the Wednesday between 6pm and 9pm.

“Another highlight of this year’s festival will be the Krafty Key Keg bar.

“They are real ale and are basically a sophisticated ‘bag in a box’ and gas is used to literally squeeze the real ale out of the bag.”

The event gets under way on Wednesday from 6pm to 11pm and runs from 11am to 11pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Mrs Forshaw added that St James’ Church had a new vicar, Justin Hutcherson, appointed in February, and he is very much looking forward to the festival.

This year’s festival glasses are sponsored by Valley Farm Holiday Park and food will be provided by Tasteful Catering. Proceeds from the event will go to St James’ Church.

Entry is free entry to Camra members and costs £2.50 (or £3.50 for music sessions) for non-members.

Entertainment will be provided by Indigo 90 on Thursday evening and there will be music from the Blackwater Jazz Band on Saturday afternoon and the Onion Band on Saturday evening.