Real ale drinkers have tasted the tipples from East Anglia at an arts centre’s first-ever beer festival.

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The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, in Stowmarket, has broaden its appeal with the launch of the two-day festival.

Matthew Abercrombie, centre manager, said staff had seen dozens of new faces visit for the first time.

He said: “It’s been fantastic and it’s been really chilled out.

“We seem to be making friends - everyone seems to be saying it’s a good thing - but this is the first one so we are dipping our toes in the water really.

“Without the support of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ales) - who have helped us get it up and running - without them, I do not think we could have done it.”

He said the centre had 500 people through its doors in eight hours on the Friday evening.

Over the next few months theatre groups will perform, including Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society.

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