Real Ale and Music Festival set to open

Organisers prepare for the festival
Organisers prepare for the festival
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Tiny Rebels and a Left-handed Giant are joining thousands of people in South Yorkshire on Thursday – for the first day of the annual Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival.

Now in its 23rd year, the festival is the biggest celebration of real ale in northern England – and more than 12,000 ale lovers are set to flock to the three-day event at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Templeborough.

Steve Burns, festival organiser, said: “Each year, the festival aims to celebrate the best of Yorkshire brewing, but we also like to offer something different and unusual for our regular visitors.”

Among the breweries making their debut at the 2015 festival are Bristol’s Left-handed Giant, and Tiny Rebel, from South Wales.

Steve said: “This year will be some particularly interesting and unusual beers available in South Yorkshire for the first time.

“Left-Handed Giant, for example, is beer which does not use finings in its brewing process, meaning it can be enjoyed by vegans.

“We’ve also managed to secure a very unusual beer and rare beer brewed in Berlin, which is traditionally served with a sweet syrup.”

This year’s edition, which opens to the public tonight, is the first to be held in the summer, and has been themed Baa-Watch: A Day at the Seaside to mark the occasion.

More than 250 varieties of ale will be available to sample from some Britain’s best loved seaside destinations, as well as Yorkshire favourites and a range of wines and ciders.

Steve said: “Many ales featured at the festival are not commonly known or readily available in South Yorkshire, which means we can give real ale lovers a taste of the best beers from around the country.

“In recent years, the popular event has been used to launch their breweries.

“This has included the Harthill Village Brewery and Stancill brewery, both of which have gone from strength to strength.

“All the proceeds from the festival go towards local charities we have supported for many years. The festival is completely run by volunteers willing to give up their spare time to help over the three days and raise funds for our beneficiaries.”

In addition to the ale, three live music stages will play host to more than 30 acts across the three days, including Lauren Housley and The Prog Doctors.

The festival is open from 6pm to 11pm Thursday and Friday and from noon to 11pm on Saturday. Entry costs £10 on the door on Thursday and Saturday and £12 on the door Friday.