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Medway Beer Festival celebrates 15th anniversary at Stanley Ballroom, St George’s Hotel, Chatham

There will be a new look for the Medway Beer Festival when it opens in Chatham this afternoon.

There are new bars, real ale racking systems, freshly painted auto-tilts for the cask conditioned ales and new features.

All the drinkers who pass over the threshold during the three day festival will get free food and ale vouchers.

Chris Strachan and Mick Evans serve up the ales
Chris Strachan and Mick Evans serve up the ales

There is a food deal at the King George V in Brompton and a real ale offer at the Frog & Toad in Gillingham.

The festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary and organiser John Brice said: “The aim is to keep the event as traditional as possible yet introduce new ideas to keep it fresh.

“The main idea is to introduce 50 real ales to people in Medway who may not have tasted these craft drinks before. But we want to give value for money so we have some special bolt-ons.

“We have doubled the hourly prize fund. There is a chance to win two pints of ale for someone different each hour throughout the three days. It was only a pint in previous years.”

John Brice at the opening of the Medway Beer Festival
John Brice at the opening of the Medway Beer Festival

New wooden bars have been built in the last few days and a new racking system for the ales has also been constructed by local craftsmen.

As well as the traditional ales, there is also a full range of ciders on sale from the Kent Cider Company based in Canterbury. Bottled Belgian and Kent ales are also available, along with hot food and live music by Medway characters each night.

The festival opens at 4pm in the Stanley Ballroom, St George’s Hotel, Chatham. It opens at 11am on Friday and Saturday, and closes at 11pm on all three days.

You can collect the festival’s 15th anniversary souvenir – a celebration glass to take home.

You still have the chance to get £1 off the entrance fee by using the voucher in Friday's Medway Messenger.

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