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In pictures: Great British Beer Festival

db headed to London’s Olympia to visit this year’s Great British Beer Festival, which is organised by the Campaign for Real Ale.

The outside of the Olympia was lit up by the Let There Be Beer Campaign on Tuesday evening.

The main hall at the London Olympia hosts this year’s Great British Beer Festival, with a wide selection of beers and lot of punters.

A huge banner hanging from the roof displays a huge congratulations to everyone who help persuade chancellor George Osborne to ditch the beer duty escalator and reduce beer duty in this year’s Budget.

Throughout the Olympia venue are bars and stalls like this one, which offer a range of beers from particular areas. Due to the huge number of real ale breweries now in the UK, Camra restricted each brewery to having one beer at this year’s festival.

And this is the view behind the scenes, with barrels, portable cellars and pumps ensuring that the ale is perfectly kept and served.

Several breweries had bigger stands at the festival, including this bus, which was there for the Wells & Young brand Bombardier.

db managed to find a quiet moment at Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire bar to take this photograph, and then sneak through to sample a beer.

In the spirit of promoting responsible drinking there was a wide selection of food on offer at the Olympia and, let’s face it, it is hard think of a better bar snack than the humble crisp. Pipers Crisps had a wide selection on offer for people to try.

For those looking for something more substantial than crisps there were other options. And not just any old sausages and mash, but real ones.

In keeping up the pub theme there were a number of games for people to try their hand at, including underarm skittles, roll the barrel and bowling. A range of prizes and a loud “winner” shout were on offer for those who proved successful.

One of the trickier games, as db can testify after approximately 374 attempts, is the throwing a bottle cap into a barrel plug. Good luck to all those who try their (steady) hand at this game.

But ultimately this festival is about the beer and this bar had an impressive array of pumps offering a wide selection of beers from all over the UK. Called The Glasshouse, it featured beers from Staffordshire, Somerset and Shropshire as well as the delightful Barnsley Bitter from the Acorn Brewery in South Yorkshire.

“Pin-up models” October Divine and Sinderella Rockafella pose with a pint at the festival, proving that it is not all about beards, bellies and sandals.

The Caledonian Brewery Pipe Band strikes up and entertains the crowds with a loud and impressive performance, which sounds great in the expanse of the Olympia.

After the beer, real sausages and music it was time to head to the Camra shop, where all manner of beer-related merchandise was on offer. From t-shirts to books and from glass to old beer bottles, there was lots of catch the eye of everyone from a beginner to a full-on beer nerd.

It’s fair to say that one or two people may have woken up from a big night out to find that they have gone through with an ill-thought out tattoo. Perhaps this henna tattoo stall is hoping to remind people that there is a less permanent way to deal with the urge to ink.

And finally…

There was a wide selection of food including 20-inch sausages or exotic meat burgers.

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