WITH pubs re-opening and brewers getting increasingly creative, punters toasted a revival in beer drinking inside the grand setting of Oxford Town Hall.

Oxford CAMRA's premier annual event for hop-lovers saw 170 different types of beer and 50 ciders supped by thousands of guests over three days of festival fun.

Oxford Mail:

Experts including landlords and brewers took part in a rigorous taste-testing and crowned Yabba Dabba Doo the 'beer of the festival'.

Described as a 'hoppy, zesty' IPA with tropical passion fruit, peach and citrus flavour, it marked the first award for Little Ox brewery, which was set up in Freeland, near Witney, in 2016 by former scientist Ian Hemingway.

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The ever-popular Get Your Hops Off by Botley's Tap Social came in second place and Show Pony by the White Horse brewery was third.

The festival comes at a time when things are looking up for Oxfordshire beer drinkers.

Oxford Mail:

Plans are afoot to re-open the Somerset in Marston Road after four years and villagers in South Moreton have successfully rescued their own local, The Crown.

Recent years have seen a rapid expansion in the number of do-it-yourself brewers, joining the more established names including Hook Norton and Wychwood to make the county one of the most exciting areas for brewing in the UK.

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Luciana Gyuricza co-founded Church Hanbrewery three years ago to bring drinks and flavours from her native Brazil to Oxfordshire.

She said: "We started it because we felt there are some fantastic beers that we couldn't get hold of over here.

"It's not easy, you have to offer something completely different and lots of pubs are tied to breweries so you can't work with them.

"But there are a lot of people out there who want to try what we offer."

Oxford Mail:

After finding it difficult to get their beer out to a wider audience, Oxbrew started their own micropub in Witney in August.

Head brewer Aaron Baldwin said the first few months in operation had been a success.

He said: "Events like this are an excellent way to spread the word about what we do.

"We've already got a lot of returning customers and we're nearly ready to offer food."