ALE lovers from across the district are being encouraged to visit the Bradford CAMRA Beer Festival when it opens its doors later this week.

The festival will feature more than 125 locally and regionally brewed ales, real ciders, perries, and world beers and wines.

For the 20th consecutive year, the festival will be taking place at Victoria Hall in Saltaire, and this year will run from Thursday, February 23, to Saturday 25.

Kerr Kennedy, Bradford CAMRA’s festival organiser, said the festival will be the reward for those who took part in an alcohol-free dry January.

He said: “It’s amazing that we’re celebrating 20 consecutive years of the Festival at this historic venue in Saltaire.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming around 3,000 customers over the three days of the festival, and we plan to make the festival as enjoyable as ever with bars throughout the building.”

On offer at the bars around the venue will be beers from all of Bradford’s local breweries, alongside others from West Yorkshire and its neighbouring counties.

There will also be a selection of ales from Scottish microbreweries, which are rarely seen south of the border.

A range of draft and bottled beers from across the globe will be on offer at the international bar, which is sponsored by North Parade stalwart the Sparrow Bier Café.

One of the Scottish beers which will be on tap has been chosen by Keighley brewery Timothy Taylor to be its first new permanent beer for a number of years, Knowle Spring Blonde.

“This is a great coup for us here at Bradford and we’re delighted to be working with Timothy Taylor to give festival-goers the first chance to sample their new product.” added Mr Kennedy.

For cider enthusiasts there is the usual range of ciders and perries to suit every taste plus a range of fruit wines and quality soft drinks.

Alongside the ale will be food provided by Bear’s Pantry, which offers a set menu alongside traditional pub food.

There will also be entertainment each day beginning with organist Michael Carter on the Hall’s Wurlitzer organ on the Thursday, followed by covers band Hard Shoulder on Friday, Hall Royd brass band on Saturday afternoon and local folk band Wild Geese later that day

Tomorrow, there will be a preview session exclusive to CAMRA members from 7pm to 10pm. On Thursday the festival is open from 2pm to 11pm, Friday is 11.30pm to 4.30pm and 6.30pm to 11pm, and on Saturday it’s open from 11.30am to 10pm.

Entry is £3 on Thursday and Friday daytime, £6 Friday evening, and £5 on Saturday.