ALE lovers from across East Lancashire turned out to sample the tipples at Clitheroe's beer festival.

Tucked away in the Assembly Hall behind St Michael and St John's Church in Lowergate, beer drinkers had the choice of more than 70 real ales and ciders, plus bottled beers and wine.

The 12th beer festival, the first one for three years in the town, was given a 'west meets east' theme with beers coming from as far away as Northern Ireland, Wales, East Anglia, West Yorkshire, the north east, as well as East Lancashire.

Ale drinker John Dewhurst, said the festival was a great success.

He said: "It's a great way to socialise and talk about different beers with fellow beer enthusiasts.

"It's also a festival that boasts sensible drinking.

"You rarely see people absolutely drunk at these festivals and they are very safe and welcoming places to be."

The festival also provided keykegs for the first time - which holds the beer inside a plastic bag inside the keg and the space between the bag and the barrel is pressured with gas to help dispense the liquid.

Chris Nicol, the festival's organiser, said: "It's been a few years since we had a beer festival and if we didn't have one this year I feared we may have lost it in the town forever.

"It's a great way to introduce young people to a sensible way of drinking a fantastic range of ales."