THE annual Swindon Beer Festival returns to Steam museum next week.

The Swindon and North Wiltshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale expects more than 2,000 visitors to enjoy more than 100 real ales and 40 artisan ciders over three days.

For the first time, the same beers on offer in the festival will be served as key kegs and from the cask in a tasting challenge along with three small batch specialist lagers.

CAMRA vice chairman John Stooke said: “While we have 13 breweries now within a 26-mile radius of the Town Hall, this is an opportunity to pull in beers from a far afield as the north of Scotland, Truro in the far south-west, Kent in the east, and west Wales in the west. It’s truly a celebration of fine, pure, ale and ciders without chemicals or preservatives”.

The festival starts on Thursday October 24 between 6-11pm and doors will be open on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 from 11am-7pm. Tickets for the Friday evening session can be obtained from the Beehive, the Glue Pot, the Hop Inn or in Wroughton’s Carter’s Rest. All other sessions are pay on the door.

Saturday is a family day and there will be a quiz in the afternoon. The chosen charity this year is retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive disease of the eye which quickly leads to entire sight loss for those affected.

* An earlier version of this article had the wrong starting date for the event. We apologise for this error.