Potent porters, best bitters and barrel blends competed for attention at the latest hop project by Maidenhead’s beer lovers.

More than 1,500 drinkers packed into the Magnet Leisure Centre, in Holmanleaze, for the annual Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival over the weekend.

From Thursday to Saturday, thirsty punters were able to sample a selection of more than 110 beers and 37 varieties of cider and perry.

“There’s been plenty of people who like their real ale,” said Steve Goodall, chairman of the Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) which organised the event.

“But also there’s the Campaign for Real Ale part of that and that is the campaign to get people to try something different.

“The idea is to put beers on that people might not have tried before, or, where we have people who don’t often drink beer, offer them something where they can say ‘I like that’.”

Recommendations for novice drinkers, as well as the experts, came courtesy of a team of about 100 CAMRA volunteers – a feature Mr Goodall, a chemist in his day job and also the festival’s cellar manager, thinks is vital to the event’s success.

He said: “I think that human connection [with the volunteers] is very important, that’s the campaign aspect of the festival.

“And from the volunteers’ point of view, that’s part of the enjoyment for them, talking to the customers and helping them find something they want to drink.”

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