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By the end of this month, you may have recovered sufficiently from the festive season to consider a great day out not too far away: I'm thinking of the the Bent & Bongs Beer Bash in Atherton. This is a well-established beer festival that is organised by the Bent and Bongs Charitable Trust in association with CAMRA. It's the 33rd festival this year and it will run from Thursday 1st to Saturday 3rd February. As always, it will be contributing all of its profits to charities and good causes, mostly local.

This popular event will be organised into five bars: real ales; ciders and perries; craft beers; Belgium, foreign, and fruit beers; and gin and prosecco.

You will be given a souvenir glass when you enter for you to use throughout your visit, and it's yours to keep afterwards if you wish. Payment at the bar is by tokens. As well as an extensive choice of drinks, a caterer will be on hand to feed you if you get peckish.

All sessions will feature live entertainment: from a singer-songwriter on Thursday to glam rock, a brass band and Northen Soul on Friday and Saturday. However, if you prefer a quiet pint, check the website for the times when these are not performing.

The Thursday session will cost £3 and will run from 6pm to 11pm. Friday and Saturday will both cost £6 and will run from 4pm to 11pm on Friday and 12pm to 9pm on Saturday.

The beer list will be published soon on the festival website where you can also find details of how to follow the festival on social media including Facebook, Twitter, and the festival blog.

The venue is Atherton Roller Rink, Bolton Road, Atherton M46 9JQ which is less than half a mile from Atherton railway station. From there, simply walk down to the lights, turn right and follow the road until you see Asda on the left. The Roller Rink is just next door.

I have certainly enjoyed some good sessions at this festival. You too can have a great time while supporting good causes - what's not to like? Beer festival website:

The national CAMRA website is at: The Southport & West Lancs Branch website is at

Neville Grundy