Canterbury on the hop this weekend

Kent Beer Festival

Raise a glass at Merton Farm

Kent Beer Festival celebrates its 43rd birthday this year when glasses will be raised at Merton Farm near Canterbury to great Kentish beer.

The festival, which gets underway this weekend (20-22 July), sees more than 200 ales and ciders on sale, plus a foreign beer bar, tasty local grub and sound live entertainment. There's also free children's entertainment on Saturday.

Thursday's musical interludes come from the Breezers Blues Band and covers-band Maxwell Hammer and Smith. On Friday Cloud 9 Jazz bring upbeat classics to the party from 7pm, while The Electric have the rest of the evening covered from 9pm.

The afternoon entertainment on Saturday is provided by string quartet Stringendo, with foot-stomping folk from Captain Patch and the Mermaid Mollies and the Wantsum Morris dancers. By late afternoon the mood changes to blues from Standard 5 and jazz from Straight Eight.

The festival takes place in a large barn, used for farming purposes the rest of the year, which has an uneven floor that can be dusty or damp depending on the weather, so patrons are advised to wear appropriate footwear.

The event is free to CAMRA card-holders with the exception of Friday night which is a ticket-holders only event, with tickets at £8 each available through the website and selected outlets.

Doors open on Thursday from 6.30pm to 11pm, with admission £6 to non-CAMRA members; on Friday admission is free between midday and 4pm but the evening session from 6.30pm until 11pm is ticket only. On Saturday doors open from midday to 9pm, with admission £6.

For more details visit the Kent Beer Festival website.