BEER and cider lovers raised a glass or two at a popular annual real ale festival in Clacton.

The 24th Clacton Real Ale and Cider Festival, run by the Tendring branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, took place at St James’ Hall, Tower Road, from Wednesday to Saturday.

The festival featured more than 70 beers, but this year there was also a specially brewed exclusive festival ale.

The Clown Bertram beer was brewed by Watsons Brewery from Colchester and two casks and bottles of the pale ale were available at the festival.

It commemorated Clacton’s popular clown, who spent 18 seasons from 1922 to 1939 entertaining audiences.

Mark Watson, of Watsons Brewery, said: “I was keen to brew a beer with a connection to Clacton. Clown Bertram seemed quite a character and a symbol of Clacton’s heyday as a resort.”

Like Clown Bertram, many of Watsons beers are one-offs, and this year two of them have won Beer of the Festival Awards.