THOUSANDS of food and real ale lovers came together to celebrate this year's Crouch Valley Festival.

The event at the Crouch Valley Vineyards in Maldon saw both Wibblers Brewery and Maldon Brewing Company show off their own ranges of ales, lagers and spirits at the "sell out" weekend show on on July 19 and 20.

The festival director, Jack Ellum, said: "We had a fantastic weekend which would not have been possible without the support of so many people.

"My thanks to all the traders, suppliers, volunteers, musicians and council staff who made this event possible and to everyone who attended and enjoyed this well-mannered and family friendly event. "

A host of good food was also served all weekend at the festival, with plenty of choice of veggie, vegan, gluten-free and even canine treats available to buy.

Live music was on show throughout the weekend with music and performances coming from Epic Dance, The Franky Debiex Band, Dirty Wafer, Colin Davies and Abbey Rouges.

The charity, Basics Essex Accident Rescue Service (Bears) also helped collect a total of £1,300 in donations from the visitors over the weekend.

Sue White, chairman of community services at Maldon District Council, said: “We would like to thank Paul, Christine and the Bears team for their vital support over the weekend and congratulate them on the excellent work the charity does.

"The festival was a fantastic event enjoyed by thousands of people and helped raise the profile of local food and drink producers, supported business growth, gastro tourism and appreciation of local food and drink.”