Beer festivals have grown in popularity and number across the country over recent years.

There was a two-year absence over the pandemic but the festivals came roaring back last year.

Many are run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). They offer a chance for people of all ages to come together to enjoy a variety of beers.

There is also often entertainment, with many bands taking part.

The biggest event held annually is the Great British Beer Festival, which draws thousands of people into Olympia over a five-day period in August each year.

Brewers from all over the country provide a broad range of beers, from heavy imperial stouts to the lighter blondes (closer to lager).

There are also cider and perry bars, catering for other tastes. Wine and gin is also available.

A beer festival closer to home is the Epping & Ongar event in July. This has the added attraction of being held at the Epping Ongar Railway, so beers can be enjoyed whilst travelling on steam trains between Epping and Ongar.

A local winter festival is the Pigs Ear event held in the Round Chapel Hackney Chapel at the end of November.

The Pigs Ear is organised by the East London Camra branch. It pretty much takes the whole year to organise but the result is an excellent occasion, with more than 3,000 attending over the five days last year. The Camra branch are old hands though, the most recent event being its 38th.

Another excellent event last year was the Wandsworth Common Halloween Beer & Cider Festival Festival, held at the historic Royal Victoria Patriotic Building.

What Wandsworth showed was how an event can be run in a relatively small space.

There is a Spring Wandsworth Beer Festival coming up at the end of next month – March 31 to April 1.

So, what about a Wanstead Beer Festival? There are a number of open spaces and large buildings that could host such an event.

There are plenty of real ale fans in Wanstead, as witnessed by the variety of beers stocked in our local pubs.

Our excellent transport links would make it easy for people coming in from outside to attend.

It could be held around the time of the Wanstead Fringe and Festival maybe?

If there is sufficient interest then Wanstead can surely put itself on the beer festival map – over to you.