HUNDREDS of different beers were sampled by thousands of people in Maidenhead at the weekend for the annual Beer and Cider Festival.

The festival, which ran from Thursday to Saturday, had 130 beers and 42 ciders on tap, which the organisers hope will have helped drinkers to broaden their horizons.

Alan Molloy, pubs campaigning coordinator for the Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead CAMRA branch, organised the festival.

He said: "You can buy beers in pubs but the problem is most pubs are chains and there's often a limited range you can choose from.

"My passion is to educate people so that they put pressure on pubs to put on more beers.

"It was really great to be able to educate people who normally only drink Strongbow or Magners about the real ciders and people did really appreciate it."

Around 2,500 people attended the event held at Desborough College, to get their hands on pints of carefully selected tipples and the event also raised funds for the children's charity The Rainbow Trust.

Mr Molloy added: "It was brilliant, the weather was so much kinder to us this year than last year.

"Attendance was up a little bit on last year, we had around 2,500 people over the three days."

The drinkers at the festival made the most of what was on offer, ensuring the organisers didn't have much left over.

Mr Molloy added: "We sold out of beer as we called time, everyone went away happy and the bands were terrific.

"We had a new orderer for cider this year and she did a brilliant job. Cider just flew out and as they called time they were ringing the plastic bags to get the last bit out."