REAL ale lovers got in to the celebratory spirit by enjoying this year’s Southampton Beer Festival.

More than 100 beers were on offer to punters as the preview session of the annual event got under way last night.

They sampled a wide range of drinks, including wheat beers, IPAs, pale ales, golden ales, stouts and lagers.

This year’s event also marks the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of the southern Hampshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

As well as a wide selection of beverages, there will be entertainment, food stalls and a tombola throughout this year’s festival.

The event continues today from 11.30am until 4pm and 6.30pm until 11pm, and tomorrow from 11.30am until 3pm, and 6.30pm until 11pm.