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East Malling Beer and Cider Festival organised by CAMRA will be back at the research centre

There was barely a drop of beer left last year when organisers of CAMRA’s East Malling Beer and Cider Festival called last orders.

The popular annual event, staged by volunteer members of the Maidstone and Mid Kent Branch of CAMRA, will be held at East Malling Research station on Saturday, August 31 and will be the tenth at the venue since it made its return in 2010 after a break of three years.

This year there will be more than 70 real ales, and a focus on LocAle brews, CAMRA's initiative to promote pubs selling locally-brewed real ale, as well more than 30 local ciders and perries.

Festivalgoers enjoy themselves at last year's event Picture: Sean Aidan
Festivalgoers enjoy themselves at last year's event Picture: Sean Aidan

Jeff Tucker, organiser of CAMRA’s East Malling Beer and Cider Festival, said: “The research centre and its grounds provide the perfect backdrop for what has become a regular fixture for fans of real ale and cider, not just from the local area, but further afield. We look forward to a bumper attendance and great weather to celebrate our tenth festival at the venue.”

Ian Clennett, chairman of the Maidstone and Mid Kent branch of CAMRA, added: “We can promise our visitors an excellent selection of real ales and ciders, especially from local breweries and producers. Our free shuttle buses prove extremely popular and we look forward to welcoming festival regulars as well as event newcomers.”

The festival will be supporting Crossroads Care Kent which supports Carers and the people they care for, with MMK CAMRA pledging to donate a sum matching unused beer tokens. Last year the scheme saw £255.20 raised for Kent Search and Rescue.

John Mills tries some ale at the festival at East Malling Research Centre last year Picture: Sean Aidan
John Mills tries some ale at the festival at East Malling Research Centre last year Picture: Sean Aidan

There are also awards to be had for the brews on offer. Last year's Beer of the Festival - selected by a panel of real ale fans, was Ferrryman’s Gold, from Loddon Brewery in Dunsden Green, Oxon, with Ball Puller, from Musket Brewery in Linton, near Maidstone, runner-up. A separate panel chose Ciderfect, from BEARDspoon in Ashford Best Cider or Perry, with Mango, from the Kent Cider Company in Canterbury, runner-up.

The event is open from 11am to 7pm and admission is £5. There will be live music from KickBacks and Lew Lewis and His Allstar Trio, as well as plenty of food. A free festival shuttle bus service runs every 30 minutes from Aylesford Station and hourly from West Malling Station.

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