This week sees St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls in Norwich packed with eager drinkers enjoying the annual Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) Beer Festival, now in its 39th year in Norwich.

The volunteer-staffed festival is a favourite event for many and is conveniently timed for autumn half term week. Visitors pay a small entry fee and then can buy a souvenir glass and tokens for their samples so no cash is needed at the bars. There are bars for national and local real ales in the St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls respectively, with a cider bar and in an adjacent marquee a bar selling bottled Continental beers and some fizzy novelties. Good value hot food is on sale throughout the event.

There is music on the main stage every evening and lunchtime, with a party night on Saturday with tickets on sale throughout the festival week.

The festival is open from 11.30 -2.30 every lunchtime, and until 3.00 on Friday and Saturday. The evening opening is from 5.30 – 11.00 on the weekdays, and 6.00 -11.00 on the Saturday night.

Soft drinks are available for drivers.

CAMRA members enjoy free entry to the Festival (but still have to join the queue outside!) and you can join CAMRA inside the Festival and find beer-related games and souvenirs.

Norwich Eye tip for best Beer Festival experience is to buy small samples – a half or third of a pint – and sample as widely as possible the many different beer styles on offer, and don’t forget to set aside one visit to concentrate on the ciders on offer.

Visitors come to Norwich from all over the region for this major ale event. See if you can spot the shy ones from Ipswich!