ALLOA'S real ale festival returned at the weekend with crowds flocking to the town hall following a Covid hiatus.

The 29th Alloa Cask Ale and Cider Festival, organised by the Forth Valley branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), went down a treat over Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12.

Showing there is still a taste for the event despite it missing a few years due to the pandemic, visitor numbers matched 2019 levels with volunteer organisers thanking everyone who came along.

With Harviestoun Brewery as the main sponsors and Devon Ales backing the programme, the festival was a truly local affair.

There were some 60 beers and around 18 ciders on tap along with a wine, gin and Prosecco bar put on by Stirling Gin as well as hot food by Cambusbarron quality butchers Michael R More.

Along with drinks from Harviestoun and Devon Ales, brewers from the wider area included Allanwater Brewery from Bridge of Allan, Hybrid Brewing from Grangemouth, Tryst Brewery from Larbert, SLOPEmeisteR from Airth and more.

Wendy Ross, publicity officer at Forth valley CAMRA, told the Advertiser: “We've not had to pour away too much beer, I'm pleased to say, I think we've got the numbers right.

“We are grateful to everybody that turned out, bought the beers and supported the group, they were really lovely, kind and welcoming to all the volunteers.”

Entirely volunteer led, Wendy gave thanks to all who gave up their time to help out with some having been involved in the set up since last Wednesday.

Live entertainment, sponsored by Williams Bros, included an acoustic set by Stuart Blackwood while Audiothieves played on the Saturday.

Judging for the Champion Strong Porter of Scotland 2022 also went ahead at the event with thanks going to Provost Donald Balsillie for joining the panel and promoting the festival.

It is understood Swannay's Orkney Porter won gold while a special award went to Tryst's Double Chocolate.

The festival's nominated charity was The Gate in Alloa with Wendy issuing a nod of appreciation to all who donated or bought raffle tickets along with a thanks to all the sponsors and to Alloa Town Hall.

Next, the branch is looking forward to Larbert Cask Ale and Cider Festival on March 31 and April 1 in 2023 while Alloa Town Hall has already been booked for next year as well.