THURROCK'S annual beer festival got underway yesterday.

The borough's outgoing mayor, Tony Fish, was on hand to pull the first pints.

More than 120 real ales, 20 real ciders and perries and a selection of English country wines and mead are available to try at the festival, held in the Civic Hall, at Blackshots, which is being organised by the south west Essex branch of Camra – the Campaign for Real Ale.

From Tuesday to Friday, the hugely-popular event will be split into afternoon and evening sessions. The afternoon sessions will start at midday and finish at 3pm.

The festival will then open for the evening, from 6pm to 11pm.

It will be open throughout the day and evening on Saturday, June 7, the final day of the festival.

Doors will open at midday and close at 11pm.

On Saturday afternoon, popular local singer/songwriter Danny White will be providing entertainment, alongside the Rumford Morris Men, Forties and Fifties ukulele covers band Ragtime Vintage Dolls, underFRET – also a ukulele group – and folk band Greenman Rising.

Five-piece rock covers band the Stents will provide the evening entertainment.

On Friday evening, Tritts and the Numbers Band is playing, while on Thursday evening Legacy will be providing easy listening. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are designated “quiet nights”.

Hot and cold food will be available at all the sessions and entry is free to all card-carrying Camra members. For everyone else, entry is priced at £1 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, £2 on Thursday evening, £4 on Friday evening and £2 on Saturday.

For information, visit or call the festival hotline on 07960 969462.