Cask ales and a crunch match? Owzat for a great weekend!

Visitors to last year's festival sample some of the ales
Visitors to last year's festival sample some of the ales

The best in real ales, ciders and perries from throughout the British Isles will be available to those attending Walsden Cricket and Bowling Club’s fifth annual beer festival next weekend.

And with some extra entertainment thrown in at some sessions, the festival organisers feel entitled to say “owzat for a good deal” in the process!

This year there will be 21 ales and ciders to sample. First day of the festival is Thursday, April 18, which runs from 5pm until late, with the Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, sessions running from noon until late.

Finally, a Sunday, April 21, session has been added from noon until late and this includes the Walsden v Littleborough derby match, which will see the Central LOancashire League title holders host their nearest, geographically, rivals.

There will be a local presence in the beers available, with the popular Cragg Vale Bitter brewed by the Little Valley Brewery.

Club chairman Jon Green said: “Favourites are obviously Little Valley, who are also providing all the raffle prizes, Bradfield ‘Farmer’s Blonde’ and Kelham Island’s ‘Pale Rider’. We have some local stuff such as Pictish from Rochdale, Goose Eye from Keighley and JW Lees from Middleton, along with drinks from further afield, ranging from St Austell Brewery, Cornwall, via Gwynt Y Ddraig ciders of Pontypridd, Wales, to the TSA Brewery, Throsk, Stirlingshire.”

Entry is by programme (£2) or free for CAMRA members. Ticket prices are four half pint tokens for £5 - the same as last year’s price. Food will be available at all sessions.

Jon added: “We are also very pleased to be able to announce an appearance by Roy ‘Elvis’ Potts on Saturday evening, who will be performing the ‘Madison Square Garden’ set - kicking off around 8pm. And on Sunday afternoon sees we host their near neighbours Littleborough in a Central Lancashire League Premier Division match.”

The club’s Scott Street ground is five minutes’ walk away from Walsden Railway Station and it is also served by regular bus services.