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Glasses raised as beer festival gets under way

PUBLISHED: 07:39 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:41 06 July 2010

Raise a glass to Yarmouth beer festival

Raise a glass to Yarmouth beer festival

Thirsty beer lovers are sure to be flocking to Yarmouth from today as they try to drink their way through 7,800 pints of ales and ciders.

Record numbers are predicted to descend on the resort for its third annual Beer and Cider Festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Thirsty beer lovers are sure to be flocking to Yarmouth from today as they try to drink their way through 7,800 pints of ales and ciders.

Record numbers are predicted to descend on the resort for its third annual Beer and Cider Festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Launched yesterday, it is hoped that 2,000 people will visit the Priory Centre by the landmark St Nicholas Church to sample 112 alcoholic brews and drinks.

Pre-booked tickets for today and the next two days have sold out for the festival - and predictions of good weather should lead to last year's attendance record of 1,500 being smashed by about 500.

To help draw the expected record crowds, Bill Russell, festival organiser, has drafted in entertainers from the Melting Pot Cabaret and music by the Lorebreakers, skiffle artist Pete “Kiwi” Keegan and the Rockin' Johnnies.

Mr Russell, who owns Yarmouth's Blackfriars Brewery, said: “If the weather stays like this, then the festival can't get any better. We always try to do something different every year. My message for the weekend is, come to Yarmouth, enjoy the many things it has to offer and then enjoy its beer festival.”

The festival, sponsored by the EDP's sister paper the Yarmouth Mercury, has attracted 18 breweries from across East Anglia and 112 beers and ciders are on offer - meaning 7,800 pints are available for drinkers.

Sadly Tony Smith, the newly appointed mayor of Yarmouth, could not join in the full fun of yesterday's launch as he had to go to other functions later in the day.

Praising the festival's growing success, Mr Smith said: “Like many other events, the beer and cider festival brings another social dimension to Yarmouth.

“The festival is a good day or night out and a great way of socialising. I firmly believe that a stranger is a friend that you have not met yet.”

The Yarmouth Beer and Cider Festival runs from 11am-3pm and 5pm-11pm until Sunday. The Melting Pot Cabaret will be performing in the afternoons and musicians will be performing at night sessions. Tickets are available on the door priced £3 for the afternoons and £4 for evening sessions.

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