BOOZE connoisseurs gathered to celebrate the best local beverages at a renowned beer and cider festival.

This year the Wantage Beer and Cider Festival returned to the Beacon civic hall for its tenth anniversary.

Punters, who had been waiting for the event for a whole year, were spotted crowding around the generously stocked bar that featured 28 ales, four ciders and two types of perry.

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The event, which ran on Friday and Saturday, was organised by volunteers of the White Horse branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Most of the beers were brewed specially for the annual celebration.

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Local brewers who supplied some renowned tipples included the Barn Owl, Bellingers, Grove, Butts, Faringdon Brewery, The Swan, Little Ox and the Tap Social brewery in Oxford.

The bars were also stocked to the brim with popular national brews such as Mosaic Pale Ale, Bond Brews, Dark Star, Hop Kettle, Potbelly and Salopian.

Those with a refined palate for unusual ciders also had the opportunity to taste Gwatkin Foxwelp, Pangvalley Midway, Mates Jackdaw and Tutts Clump Rhubarb.

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Punters who joined the party for the perry were treated to Gwatkin Squeal Pig Perry and Ross Perry from Ross on Wye.

People were also able to purchase bottled booze to take home from some local breweries and cider producers.

Many arrived to the first day of the festival on Friday in time to see this year’s White Horse Branch Campaign for Real Ale awards.

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Hop Kettle Brew that is based in Cricklade and Swindon snatched top place for winning beer of the festival with their West Coast IPA No bad days.

The next in line of awards was Tutts Clump Cider that won Best cider for their Rhubarb taste made from a blend of apples infused with natural rhubarb juices.

Pubs across the district also earned their well-deserved mentions.

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The Royal Oak in Wantage was awarded Pub of the Year, with The Shoulder of Mutton being a proud runner up.

The traditional town pub on Newbury Street also won the crown for Cider pub of the year, with The Swan in Faringdon as a runner up.

The crown for Best County Pub was given to The Greyhound in Letcombe Regis, while Stanford in the Vale Social Club snatched the award for Club of the Year.

While many companies are seen to be cancelling or postponing upcoming events amid the Covid-19 spread, another booze festival has announced it is coming to Oxfordshire.

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The third annual Love Beer Fest is set to be held at the village of Milton near Didcot on Saturday, June 27.

It is organised by Lovebeer, a micro brewery set up in 2013.

The company also hosts open days for people eager to sample some of their ‘traditional’ produce before the summer festival.

Their next community event will be held at their High Street brewery on Saturday, April 25.