However, some things just roll along sweetly from year to year, like the Cambridge Beer Festival, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Some have questioned whether the Festival is still needed now that every pub in the area sells a minimum of ten real ales – and also in light of the huge increase in the number of pubs, with sixteen opening locally in the last year alone.

I put this point to Festival Organiser Sir Albert Kenward (knighted recently for his services to cask beer). “We definitely still have a role to play” he said “For instance, we promote those traditional beer styles which are under threat – like Golden Ales and Bitters. Not everyone wants to drink Milds and other dark beers but in most pubs that's all you can get. We also want to persuade more older people to try real ale. It's still seen as a young person's drink but it's something everyone with tastebuds can enjoy.”

Sir Bert also told me about this year's expanded event. “With over 30000 customers a day, even the whole of Jesus Green isn't big enough now. Paying for a bridge to be constructed over to Midsummer Common was a major capital investment but we're a multi-million concern these days”

As usual the Festival will feature beers from all our local brewers though with 107 in the Cambridge area alone, an extra LocAle tent has had to be added.

Meanwhile, there are rumours of a rival event. CAMAL, the Campaign for Aspirated Lager, was set up because of worries that traditional cold, fizzy, tasteless British-brewed lager was on the verge of extinction. Spokesman Keith Watney said “Those of us who prefer bland unchallenging beers are hard-pressed to find it nowadays. We're running a small lager festival in Winker's Night Club – so come along and try something different”.