Express & Star

Black Country's Winter Ale Fayre is back with a bang - and a Crooked House twist

Hundreds of ale lovers have been packing out a town hall for the return of an annual Black Country beer event – which this year was dedicated to The Crooked House.

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Dudley Winter Ales Fayre at Dudley Town Hall. In Picture: Phil Knight

The much-loved Winter Ale Fayre, which runs at Dudley Town Hall from Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25, sees hundreds of people turn up to test out the best independent ales on offer.

The event this year saw around 300 people turn up for the first day of festivities, with another 300 arriving for the second day.

This year's fayre also featured a special theme in the form of a commemorative event remembering the loss of The Crooked House pub, which was illegally demolished days after a devastating fire tore through the famous boozer.

Hundreds turned up for the event

Robin Shields, beer festival organiser at CAMRA Dudley and South Staffordshire, said: "We are very pleased that so many people have come out to support us this year.

"This is my first year as an organiser and we wanted to show people the range of excellent beers that the West Midlands has to offer."

The first beer to sell out was fan favourite and new 'Beer of the Festival', Snowflake, an 8 per cent beer brewed by the Sarah Hughes Brewery in Sedgley.

Over 60 ales were developed for the event

Mr Shields continued: "The feedback we have been getting around the event and the beers has been really good.

"Everyone seems to be enjoying the event this year and we hope to run it all again in 2024."

Commemorative 'wonky' glasses were also on sale at the event, with members of the Save the Crooked House group also on hand to provide history, information and advice surrounding the Crooked House.

Members of the Save the Crooked House Facebook group also attended the event

John Corser, chairman of the branch, said: "We are hosting two competitions for the West Midlands CAMRA on the opening day and real ale fans from all over the country are coming in the wake of the loss of The Crooked House.

"We wanted to ensure they got a taste of the beers brewed by the great breweries we have in this area. We hope it will encourage people to support their local pubs and encourage them to continue to offer cask ale."

The event this year was also visited by the Mayor of Dudley, Andrea Goddard, who officially opened the event on Thursday.