THOUSANDS of real ale fans have been raising a glass for a good cause.

Almost 4,000 people passed through the doors at the 25th Bent and Bongs Beer Bash at Formby Hall, Atherton, over the weekend and organisers said they were delighted with the turnout.

Once all the coins have been counted, they are expecting to donate thousands of pounds to this year’s chosen charity, Atherton and Leigh Foodbank.

Beer fans had a taste of more than 60 brands of beer, including the imaginatively titled varieties of Outstanding, Foolhardy and even Rat.

Across the three days, guests knocked back 9,000 pints of real ale and 2,100 pints of cider and perry, while listening to a Beatles tribute act and performances from bands such as Run Out The Guns, Cracked Flags and Jile Box Heroes.

Organiser Sarah Bellis said: “It has been a wonderful few days and we even had a visit from Bolton West MP Julie Hilling on Saturday night. She commended us on our charity work and expressed her support for the brewery trade.

“I chose the food bank because one of my friends began using them recently.

“They do some amazing work beyond handing out food. For example, they can provide advice about benefit entitlement, or legal help.

“I’d like to thank all the people who came to enjoy the beer over the three days and the volunteers who have made it a success.”