THE BEER in Henley has again been given the official thumbs-up.
The centuries old tradition of ale tasting saw the Court Leet do the annual rounds of town pubs.
Dating back 600 years when ale was sometimes suspect, the event was this time led by the High Bailiff Graham Smith and organised by Marc Bailey and Andrew Gardner.
In medieval days, ale was poured on a wooden stool and a taster had to sit on it. If the stool stuck to the taster, it had not fermented properly and would fail the test.
But this year’s connoisseurs stuck to a more conventional method of taking a sip of the ales on offer.
Landlords across the six pubs were awarded with certificate and a fern – to indicate to people who could not read, that the beer was good.
* ALE lovers are invited to enjoy a tipple at this year’s Stratford Beer and Cider Festival.
More than 70 beers and 30 ciders from across the country will be on offer at Stratford Racecourse on Friday and Saturday June 21 and 22.
There will be a free shuttle bus from the train station and town centre to the event, which is ran by Shakespeare CAMRA and raises money for The Shakespeare Hospice.
Across the weekend there will be food stalls and live music on offer.
Tickets cost £10 including glass, programme and beer tokens.
Visit www.stratfordbeerfestival.org.uk for more information.