PREPARE to raise a glass as the Newbury Real Ale Festival returns on Saturday for its 14th year at Northcroft Playing Fields.
There will be 174 ales, more than 137 ciders and a small selection of wines to sample.
More than 4,000 people attended the festival last year and some ales and ciders had run out by 4pm.
Musical entertainment begins at 1.15pm with Hickory Smoke, and continues until 10pm, with a line-up of eight acts including the Torn Off Strips, Ricky and the Gamblers and Hells Bells.
The event is family-friendly – although dogs are not welcome this year – and refreshments include fish and chips, a hog roast, tacos, Tex Mex and a tuck shop with soft drinks.
The event, organised and staffed by volunteers from Media Fusion and Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club, is sponsored by 45 local organisations.
Media Fusion director David Whittingham, said: “We had a lot of rain last year, so slightly lower numbers.
“If the weather goes well we expect about 6,000 people this year. It is one of the most anticipated events of the year.
“We’ve ordered more ales and ciders this year, but the more we get, the more people drink, so it is difficult to order just the right amount.”
Tickets are £10 and can be bought in advance from www.newburyrealale.co.uk or at the gate. All proceeds will go to the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Ark Children’s Cancer Charity.
Doors open at noon and close at 11pm.
For all the reaction and pictures, pick up a copy of next week’s Newbury Weekly News.