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Cheers for the beer!

PUBLISHED: 16:55 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 August 2010

THE BEST BAR NONE: Louise Bratton, Lisa Kelly and Lara O’Gara.

THE BEST BAR NONE: Louise Bratton, Lisa Kelly and Lara O'Gara.

ALE enthusiasts sampled some of the 75 English beers on offer at the borough's fourth annual beer festival.

ALE enthusiasts sampled some of the 75 English beers on offer at the borough's fourth annual beer festival.

Unusual beverages such as Nutty Slack and Dark Tranquility were showcased at the three-day Bexley Beer Festival in Sidcup Sports Club from last Friday.

Some 1,000 beer drinkers and tourists sampled a range of ales at the festival, organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), and took part in traditional pub games including Shuffleboard and Shut The Box.

CAMRA member Louise Bratton, who works at Blackfen School for Girls, said: "I came along with my friends because drinking real ale is usually the reserve of men.

" I love real ale because it doesn't give you a hangover. It's all natural. I'd like to see more women and young people at these nights. They're very laid back."

CAMRA currently run a campaign to save British pubs after the last Pub & Beer Association report highlighted that 39 pubs are closing every week.

Some 84 per cent of Britons believe that the pub is as essential to 'village life' as a shop or a post office, the lobbying group's website claims.

Library worker Lara O'Gara, 35, from Perth, Australia, said: "I usually drink pints when I go to the pub, but it's great that it's so cheap here."

Lisa Kelly, 34, a customer services worker from Glasgow, said: "I don't drink beer usually. I'm drinking Honey Bunny. It just tastes like beer to be honest."

Various drinkers recommended the Robin Hood and Little John pub in Lion Road, Bexleyheath, for trying new ales, lamenting a lack of bitter in most pubs. The Bexley pub run by Ray, Caterina and Tony Johnson has won CAMRA Pub of the Year 10 years in a row, always keeping eight bitters on tap. Des Johnson, 49, of Clarence Road, Sidcup, said: "I love to have a bit of choice and I've tried some crackers tonight.

"The only down side is that they're too many guys. It's a shame because women enjoy drinking too, but these events are considered a boy's club."

For more information about CAMRA visit www.camra.org.uk

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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