HUNDREDS of excitable ale drinkers flocked to this year’s Harwich and Dovercourt Bay Winter Ale Festival.

And this year, the popular festival returned to its original home, Kingsway Hall, in Dovercourt, after five years away. In recent years the festival has been held at the Parkeston Railway Club as the hall had been unavailable for festival goers to use.

Colin Cheesman, chairman of the Harwich and Dovercourt Bay Winter Ale Festival’s organising committee, said the event was a great success.

He added: “We came back to the hall for the first time in five years.

“It was a fantastic festival and this year we purposely did not have music, so people could talk and enjoy their drinks.

“Thursday and Friday were the busiest two days of the festival.”

The festival ran between Wednesday, November 20 and Saturday, November 23.

This year’s theme was called “Back to the Bay”.

Mr Cheesman added: “We had a very successful festival and we moved back to Kingsway Hall so people were happy to see us back there.

“There were about 750 people through the doors throughout theentire festival.

“Between them, they drank about 3,500 pints of beers, ciders and foreign ales.

“We always have a beer of the festival and this year’s was called Black Sails.

“It was the first beer to sell out and the most popular of the festival.

“It is made in Tendring.

“But traditional English ales - which are the darker ales - did very well too.”

Mr Cheeseman added: “I want to thank a the hosts at Kingsway Hall for welcoming us back to the venue.”