Thousands expected as Sheffield beer festival is back on tap - October 3 to 6, 2012.

Taste test: A punter is advised on his next choice at last year's beer festival.
Taste test: A punter is advised on his next choice at last year's beer festival.

THOUSANDS of ale-lovers are expected to line up at the bar for Sheffield’s major beer festival this year.

Breweries are preparing festival specials and tickers waiting with anticipation after the Sheffield CAMRA event was confirmed for Wednesday to Saturday, October 3 to 6, at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre.

This year, professional judges will decide a Champion Beer of Sheffield, while customers pick the People’s Pint by voting for their favourite.

Andy Cullen, chairman of Sheffield and District CAMRA branch, said there would be 150 different beers, plus traditional ciders and perries, on offer.

He said: “It is an opportunity not only to have all the Sheffield breweries, under one roof but also to try beers from elsewhere.

“There are a lot of small breweries across Yorkshire and Derbyshire now and we’ve also got the chance to bring in beers from across the UK which people might not have the chance to try otherwise. We are expecting a few thousand people through the doors.”

This year is the 38th Steel City Beer and Cider Festival.

It moved indoors to a larger, and dry, venue last year, having previously been held in marquees at Cemetery Park, Sharrow.

The event often includes games and entertainment to keep thirsty drinkers happy.

Thornbridge Brewery, which is based in Bakewell, but has several pubs in Sheffield, has won the top prize there three times since 2005.

Alex Buchanan, from the brewery, said: “It was the first competition we entered and won and it was a huge boost. It raised our profile and got us started. The festival is one we covet a lot and do get excited about entering beers into.”