BEER, cider and perry was ready to flow freely last night as organisers prepared for Worcester's hugely popular beer festival and customers looked forward to savouring the perfect pint.

The Worcester Beer, Cider and Perry Festival at Worcester Racecourse opened at 5pm last night as organisers said the set-up had gone smoothly.

Bill Ottaway, the co-organiser, said the aim this year was not to run out of beer on Saturday evening after some were left disappointed last year.

He said: "We want to make sure we're still open until 10pm on Saturday. It is going to be interesting to see how the strike card works."

Other changes to the 15th CAMRA festival this year include the use of a strike card instead of the more familiar token system which Mr Ottaway said was 'a bit of an experiment' although he hopes it will make things easier for customers and volunteers.

Although they have 190 ales this year rather than the 200 last year he said that means more of each ale, reducing the range slightly but keeping the quantity up. Certain beers are not available until Saturday as organisers try and better manage the high demand.

Mr Ottaway said: "I would say the festival has already put Worcester on the map. I hope people can leave having had a fantastic time and our volunteers aren't too knackered."

Music last night came in the form of the Haunted Souls and the Retrophonics and Come Together as the crowds can enjoy folk and country sounds, covers and popular songs from the 60s to today.

Tickets can be bought online ( or in advance through Worcester Live at at the Huntingdon Hall​ Box Office (01905 611427), in person at the Worcester Live Box Office at Huntingdon Hall in CrownGate Shopping Centre, Worcester. The Worcester Live Box Office only sell 'entry only' tickets. If you wish to buy strike cards as part of your entry then these packages are only available online.

You can also pay cash on the door if there are any tickets remaining for that day.