FUN-LOVING crowds, live music, and the best ales in the North West made for a superb atmosphere at the 24th annual Bolton Beer Festival.

Thousands of beer drinkers flocked to the Macron for the four-day festival, which closed on Saturday and has been declared another huge success.

The event offered ale enthusiasts a mouth-watering taste of more than 200 beers from across the region, including the best of local breweries including Bank Top, Blackedge, and Northern Monkey.

Lagers, ciders, spirits, wine and Prosecco were also on the menu alongside food from Carrs Pasties and Spice Valley, while guests on Friday night enjoyed a lively music set from The Govans.

Festival founder Clive Nightingale was delighted with this year’s festival, which returned to the Macron’s Premier Suite after first moving to the venue in 2016.

He said:

“There has been a fantastic atmosphere, a huge number of people, and a huge amount of money raised for charity.

“Friday was absolutely brilliant. We had around 1,200 guests at the sponsors event in the afternoon and then around 1,700 people there on the night.

“The band went down really well, the facilities at the Macron were great, and the atmosphere was electric.

“I was absolutely buzzing all of Friday and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.

“That is what this festival is all about, people having a good time. What a fantastic way to raise money for charity.”

Among the huge selection of beers on offer at the event was Scoop Ale, which was chosen as the festival brew after being created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Bolton News.

Organisers will know later this week how much the festival raised for its only beneficiary, Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Events and community fundraising manager for Bolton Lads and Girls Club, Kelly McFadden, said:

“The festival has gone really, really well. This was actually my first ever beer festival, so I didn’t know quite what to expect from it.

“But it has been full of amazing people having a great time and raising money for a really good cause.”