THE countdown is on to one of the most highly anticipated events in the county’s social calender.

The annual Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival is to make its comeback next week (September 3, 4 and 5).

It follows a one-year hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Corbridge-based event, which sees revellers sample some of the finest alcoholic drinks, is popular with locals, as well as people from all over the region.

The traditional June date, which usually sees hoards of crowds flock to Tynedale Rugby Club, was moved following the Government roadmap out of lockdown.

In the absence of an in-person event for 2020, and alike most other events, organisers took the premier beer festival online with more than 12,000 festival-goers tuning in from the comfort of their homes, raising over £2,000 for worthy causes.

All of the musicians gave their time for free, while people taking part were asked to donate the price they would usually pay for a ticket and a couple of drinks to support beneficiaries Journey, Chrysalis Club Tynedale, Northumberland County Blind Association, West Northumberland Food Bank and Tynedale Rugby Club.

Dads were nominated for a Father’s Day competition, while food vendors and over 40 brewers made refreshments available for people to pre-order and take home as they enjoyed the festival.

Ian Cave, of the Tynedale Lions Club and chairman of the festival committee, said at the time: “When one of our team suggested that we might try to recreate some of the festival spirit online, we all thought it was a great idea and immediately rose to the challenge.”

Tynedale Beer and Cider Festival was established in 2002 and plays host to a range of live music. It has helped raise over £450,000 for local and national charities.

This year, organisers are offering free tickets to those in the health service who have worked throughout the pandemic. Free tickets are available for the Sunday and are subject only to a £1 booking free. NHS ID cards must be shown.