REAL ale lovers will be in their element next week when a popular drinks event finally returns after a two year hiatus.

The Colchester Summer Real Ale and Cider Festival will take place at Colchester Arts Centre, in Church Street, from June 1 until June 4.

Organised by Colchester and North East Essex CAMRA, the celebration of authentic ale has not been able to go ahead since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35th edition of the event, however, will make up for lost time by showcasing more than 80 different varieties of booze.

Everything beer, cider, perry and local wines from Mersea Island to Belgian alcohol, non-alcoholic bubbly and soft drinks for designed drivers will be on offer.

Also, if the sun is shining, merry guests will be encouraged to make the most of the historic church venue’s glorious outdoor space.

Dan Young, chairman of Colchester and North East Essex CAMRA, said: “There is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Doors for the festival open at 12pm and close at 10.30pm each day and admission is free of charge until 3pm and £3 thereafter.

All card-carrying CAMRA members, however, can attend the event for free at all times and accompanied children are welcome every day until 6.30pm.

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