DRINKERS were in great spirits at the fifth annual Sherfield-on-Loddon beer festival.

The festival, which raises money for local charities, boasted more than 40 real ales, including a selection brewed in the village itself, for visitors to enjoy.

Five live bands entertained drinkers sat outside in the sunshine at Sherfield-on-Loddon village hall garden while inside the hall, a bar selling wine and soft drinks made sure that all tastes were catered for.

Organiser Peter Cook, of Sherfield Village Brewery, said families were encouraged to attend the event.

He said: “It’s very much aimed towards families. Anyone can come along and enjoy themselves.”

And many people did, with the lure of quality real ale being served at just £2.50 a pint attracting hundreds to the day-long event.

Mr Cook said: “We try to keep the prices low. There aren’t many pubs you can go to these days and get a pint for £2.50.”

The festival, which ran from 11.30am until 11pm, also had a wide range of food being served.

Last year, the event raised around £3,000 for charity and organisers hope to match the figure this year when all the proceeds are totted up.

The 2012 beer festival was held in aid of St Michael’s Hospice, in Basingstoke, and for Sherfield Village Hall, which relies on fundraising and donations for its upkeep and renovations.