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Hop along to beer festival

BEER lovers from far and wide will gather at the Museum of Kent Life at Maidstone, this weekend for the annual beer and hop festival.

Visitors on Saturday will be able to sample 80 different ales in the Campaign for Real Ale's marquee in the grounds of the museum in Lock Lane, Sandling.

Throughout the weekend, there will also hop-based entertainment within the museum itself.

Visitors will be able to relive the hopping days by taking part in the traditional custom of hop picking.

The museum boasts the last hand-harvested hop garden in the country. The public will help pick the hops, which will then be dried in the museum's oast house.

Additional entertainment will be provided by live musicians, circus workshops, morris dancers and, on Sunday, birds of prey.

A special bus service will be operating from the Chequers Bus Station and Maidstone East station to the museum throughout the weekend.

The event runs between 10am and 4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, but the ale marquee will remain open until 8pm on Saturday.

Admission to the festival is £4.70 (£3.20 for concessions and CAMRA members) and £14 for a family ticket.

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