WORK has begun on transforming Oxford Town Hall into a beer-lovers’ paradise ahead of the start of an annual festival.

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) were unloading hundreds of barrels of beer yesterday, ready to be drunk by thirsty punters from tomorrow evening until Sunday.

In a special nod to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, brewers are offering several Remembrance Day-themed beers at this year’s event.

Abingdon’s Loose Cannon brewery will be providing its Tommy Atkins ale, a traditional malty drink named after the nickname given to British soldiers during the conflict.

Vale brewery, of Brill in Buckinghamshire, is supplying a beer called War Poet which commemorates First World War writer Wilfred Owen.

It is described as ‘a malty rich brown ale typical of the time.’

The drinks are two of 170 real or cask ales on offer at the festival, along with 50 ciders and perries.

Around 20 Oxfordshire breweries will be represented and several oddly named beers will be competing for customers’ attention.

Jacob Rees Smog, Old Scruttocks, Wild Beeries, Apocalypse Brau, Oxblood and Get Your Hops Off are all sure to catch the eye of the discerning drinker.

Dave Richardson, spokesman for Oxford CAMRA, said the festival was prioritising supporting local beers but have also added new additions including Anthology from Leeds, Hopscotch from Sheffield and Twisted Angel from Beverley, East Yorkshire.

He added: “There are now around 2,500 breweries in the UK, so choosing what to offer is a major task.”

“Oxford Town Hall is a really classic venue for a beer festival, and being one of the last festivals of the year, particularly good for winter ales.

“Organising it is a very big volunteer team effort behind the scenes, and takes nearly a year of planning.”

CAMRA will hold back 40 different beers so they can be drunk on Saturday but have warned many are likely to sell out quickly.

The festival, now in its 21st year, is staying true to its roots by only serving real or cask ale, resisting calls to stock more modern ‘craft keg beers’ which some believe attract younger people.

The Remembrance-themed beers will also be available throughout November across the city.

Tickets cost £5 on the door.