THE countdown has begun until the ale is flowing at a popular fundraiser that raises thousands for charity while quenching the thirst of beer-lovers.
Tickets are now on sale for the 18th Hartlepool Beer Festival, which takes place on Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12 at The Borough Hall, in Middlegate.
Last year 1,200 revellers enjoyed the two-day festival, which is organised by Hartlepool Round Table and can raise up to £16,000.
The event brings together more than 50 real ales, including Britain’s best-known beers and delicious rare ales from small microbreweries.
A soft drinks and wine bar is also available for those just wanting to enjoy the entertainment.
Charities to benefit this year include Bradley Lowery’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma, set up in aid of a Blackhall two-year-old battling a rare childhood cancer.
The Mail reported last week that people are being invited to name a beer at the festival after young Bradley.
Hartlepool Epilepsy Outlook will also be a beneficiary.
Friday’s entertainment will come from 80s tribute band Planet Earth and on Saturday music will be provided by Funk Collective.
Round Table press officer and past chairman Mark Rycraft, who is manager of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, said: “The atmosphere is usually electric and we don’t have any problems on any of the nights.
“Everyone looks forward to it and when I speak to people they say ‘when is the beer festival, I can’t wait’.
“This isn’t just about real ale, there is also a bottle bar and it is a relatively cheap night out.”
Tickets for the event, which is sponsored by Middleton Grange, HLA, Camerons and Speedyhire, are £12 per evening or £4 for afternoon sessions, from noon-4pm.
They are available from www.hartlepoolbeerfestival.co.uk or from Timlins Opticians in Church Street, First Class Shoe Repairs in Middleton Grange, Virgin Money in York Road or on the door.
The charities to benefit last year were Hartlepool Families First, Red Dreams, Hartlepool RNLI, Autism Rights Group Hartlepool (ARGH) and The New Hartlepool MS Support Group.
l To find out more, visit www.hartlepoolbeerfestival.co.uk.