ONE of Warrington's biggest celebrations of real ale with a German twist is coming to the Parr Hall.

Oktoberfest will run from Thursday, October 15, until Saturday, October 17, with more than 70 cask ales, bottled beers and ciders.

The charity event, now in its 19th year, is run by Warrington Rotary Club and organisers say it is more popular than ever thanks in part to the craft beer movement.

Rotary Club member Brian Spooner said: "We’ve all noticed that the cask ales that we do have caught on and there have been microbreweries springing up everywhere.

"The people attending the festival know more about the beers too because of that new interest. People want to try different beers which is a good thing."

Preparations for Oktoberfest start in January with beers sourced from all over the country as well as from Warrington brewers Coach House and 4Ts.

The usual favourite is Heywood-based Phoenix Brewery's Wobbly Bob.

More than 2,000 real ale fans are expected throughout the three days and over 18 years the event has raised more than £220,000 for charity.

This year's charities are Warrington's Open Door at Christmas, Guide Dogs' Warrington branch, youth theatre group CODYS, Women’s Aid and Cheshire Search and Rescue.

Two international charities, Village Water and Lend With Care, are also being supported.

Brian, aged 73, from Stockton Heath, added: "We’re hoping people will have a good time, meet old friends and sample great beers.

"A lot of people now travel from all over the north west for the event.

"We even have a regular who comes from Germany and there’s a Scottish chap who lives in Warrington and he literally stands in the same spot by the bar every year.

"We’re really pleased that it has been so successful over the years.

"It started out very small and it is now probably one of the largest in the region. It has also raised a lot of money for charity in that time. In fact, we’re hoping to crack the £250,000 figure this year.

"The highlight for me is the camaraderie, the music and the atmosphere of the whole thing. It’s a good experience."

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The sessions at a glance

Thursday: 5.30pm to 11pm with music from The Higher Ground Duo

Friday: 5.30pm to 11pm with music from Gypsy

Saturday: Noon to 11pm with music from Lazy River Jazz, Warrington British Sign Language Choir and No Stamp Required