WORCESTER CAMRA say they are offering "the cream of British breweries" at this year's massive Beer, Cider and Perry Festival, at the Racecourse.

More than 13,000 visitors are expected over the three days, and they will have a choice from 190 beers, 100 ciders and perries and fifteen country wines.

Bar Manager, Andy Wood, aged 48, from North Malvern said: "It's just like a huge pub - everyone's favourite, massive pub.

"Last year we attracted around 13,500 people and this year it may just creep up. This place, the Racecourse, is fantastic, with all the connections."

He added: "Where do the visitors come from? They tend to follow the rail lines, from Cardiff, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Birmingham."

Not forgetting Worcestershire, for the festival, about to celebrate its 15th year, is a home-grown success story which first arose in 1999, on the King's School playing fields, as part of the Worcester Festival.

It was meant to be a one off but attracted 2000 people.

Worcester CAMRA then decided on an annual event and the festival moved to the Racecourse the following year, and it has grown and grown ever since.

It is now reckoned to be the seventh or eighth largest beer festival in the UK.

The 2014 spectacular will run from Thursday August 7 to Saturday, August 9, with a set-up cost of around £120,000 and an expected turnover of about £250,000.

The 220ft long main marquee alone is costing CAMRA £20,000 to install.

But the imbibers and the beers will be well-sheltered, including such tempting and poetic names as Flying Monk, Hammerpot, Totally Brewed, Ghost Ship, Tiny Rebel and Mordue.

Three Counties breweries will be much to the fore, including a dark ale from Ledbury Brewery and the Beacon Gold from Malvern Hills.

And if visitors feel the need to wander a little, the official programme carries a map showing the way to 27 town centre pubs.

The festival is also an important fund-raiser for charity, raising hundreds each year through donations.

This year, the charities to benefit will be the Midlands Air Ambulance, Cancer Research UK and the Royal British Legion.

Mr Wood said Cancer Research UK was a very personal choice for the members.

The group lost their music organiser, Grahame McGrath last year, at the age of 68, after he suffered a blood clot on the lung.

Mr McGrath had battled cancer for several years, but he remained involved with the festival right to the end.

Festival headliners this year will be The Commitments, on Friday night; and other acts taking a bow over the three days will include The Haunted Souls, Come Together, Retrophonics, Mike Skilbeck, The Band, Jennifer Ludlow, Done by Sunrise, Davey Rocks, Paul Winstanley and The Trevor Burton Band.