MALMESBURY Beer Festival is likely to become a yearly event following a hoppy couple of days last weekend.

Organisers believe it may have raised as much as £3,000 for local schools.

One of the organisers, Ray Sanderson, said: “It was a great success. A lot of people turned out and supported it, not just locals. We had people from Chippenham, Wotton-under-Edge and tourists.

“We have decided we will do it again next year,” he told the Standard. “It was definitely far busier this year than last and a lot of people were saying: ‘Let’s make it an annual event.’”

He said the event would need a little tweaking, but he was in no doubt the event would be staged for a third time.

First staged last year, the festival was opened on Friday evening by the new United Reformed Church minister Rev Sarah Simpson.

More than 500 people poured through the doors over the two days to sample the 20 ales and half dozen ciders that were on offer. Visitors were greeted with a souvenir glass to help them taste their choices.

The new Flying Monk Brewery from Hullavington was launched officially during the festival and its Eilmer brew proved so popular that two barrels were drained by thirsty ale lovers.

“From feedback and from being there most of the time, I would say there were a lot more people, particularly on Saturday afternoon, said Mr Sanderson. “At noon when it opened on Saturday a group of people came in from Chippenham and it carried on being busy all the way through.”

“We had a great team of volunteers,” he added.

Profit from the festival is to be shared between Malmesbury School and the town’s two primary schools.

Mr Sanderson said it was too early to be sure of the exact amount, but turnover was in the region of £5,000 and after bills like supply of the beers and hire of the town hall were paid he expected to be able to hand over about £3,000.