Now in its 14th year, the annual Braintree Real Ale Festival is bringing real ales and ciders from across Essex and beyond to the Bocking Arts Centre.

The annual event is jointly organised by the Lions Club of Braintree and the North West Essex branch of CAMRA and kicks-off today before coming to a close on Saturday night.

And, in line with tradition, an Essex bar will be promoting the extensive choice of breweries from across the county and a nearby brewery has produced a special brew for the event.

This year, the PumpHouse Community Brewery, in Toppesfield, has stepped up to the bar and produced the beer which is called Golden Pride.

Aaron Osborne, the head brewer at the brewery, said: “It has a strong malt base, from the use of Maris Otter East Anglian barley - together with a light and pleasant citrus aroma, given by Sovereign and Cascade hops.”

It has an ABV of 4.2 per cent and a lingering aftertaste, and is sure to go down well with festival-goers with it’s delicious knack for quenching one’s thirst during the long days of summer.

It earned its name after a naming competition in its home village which attracted more than 80 suggestions.

Names put forward ranged from the predictable, to the bizarre, to the downright perplexing.

The second half of the beer selection also reflects a theme and this year the Scottish Borders has been chosen as that theme and organisers have settled on a range of beers from both sides of the border.

But amidst all the beer-y fun, organisers have made sure they didn’t forget about their cider and perry customers with a large range on offer as well as English wine.

The proceeds from the festival will be donated to two charities - the Alzheimer’s Society and BEARS.

It opens at 11am today, tomorrow and Saturday with closing time at 11pm across the three days.

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