Ale is the chief at St Albans Beer Festival

PUBLISHED: 11:40 27 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

ONE of the highlights of the drinking calendar is taking over the Alban Arena next week. The annual St Albans Beer Festival is a celebration of British cask-conditioned beers and the number on offer this year runs into the hundreds with up to 500 British

ONE of the highlights of the drinking calendar is taking over the Alban Arena next week.

The annual St Albans Beer Festival is a celebration of British cask-conditioned beers and the number on offer this year runs into the hundreds with up to 500 British cask and bottled conditioned beers, foreign beers, ciders and perries.

Showcasing first-class beer produced by top-class brewers from all over the UK, they range in style from milds and bitters through old ales, porters and stouts to barley wines, speciality wheat beers, golden beers, real lagers, fruit beers and many others.

Beers from Britain will be joined by their opposite numbers from the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Australia and Sri Lanka.

And the festival is not just about ale - there will be games, the tombola, a team quiz and breweriana auctions.

On Saturday night, October 3, the Hamsters will be performing a 90-minute set of their most popular material and on Thursday, October 1, a selection of St Albans most popular bands such as the Runaway Boys, Polly Poison and Her Electric Antidote and Ground Dust will be appearing.

The festival begins next Wednesday, September 30, when it is open from 5pm until 10.30pm and then it is open from 11am to 10.30pm Thursday to Saturday. Tickets are between £2 and £4 although members of the Campaign for Real Ale, CAMRA, get in free at all times.

Further information is available at www.hertsale.org.uk

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