WHILST I cannot claim to be in any way an expert on real ale, I certainly enjoy a good drink.

So I was obviously delighted to be handed the task of going to review the 19th Ealing Beer Festival.

More than 2,500 people have passed through the festival in the past three days, sampling the 180 beers, porters, stouts, ciders and bitters and the single lager offering.

The outdoor arena in Walpole Park provides a lively and friendly atmosphere for the serious beer enthsiast and the inquisitive experimenter alike.

More than 70 different barrels are on offer to sample at any one time at the two huge bars, with dozens of knowledgable volunteer barstaff on hand to guide you through the various brews on offer.

Hundreds of people queued up last night to get into the festival, and yet it always feels like there is plenty of space, as capacity is dictated by the number of glasses they have, and not how many bodies can be crammed in.

On the beer front, offerings from well known breweries like Greene King sit alongside some from lesser known micro-breweries. One of my favourites was the brilliantly named Stairway to Heaven. A few pints later I think it would indeed be a very apt name.

One top tip is to only ever order a half of anything, as with a range of beers on offer you could easily land yourself with something less to your taste, and trialling new beers is definitely the name of the game.

Entrance costs £3 for non-CAMRA members, altough this cost goes to offsetting the price of the beer, many of which can be picked up for between £2.20 and £2.80 a pint. You also pay a deposit for your glass.

Food offerings include Biltong, spiced dried meat, and all manner of meat in buns. Soft drinks are also available to take the edge off the alcohol.

Problems of rowdiness seem not to be an issue, with regular visits from the local constabulary, and even undercover bouncers cunningly disguised as balloon modellers.

This is the first time the festival has been held in Walpole Park, and only the second time it has run outdoors, with the organisers taking advantage of the tents and security fences put in place by Ealing Council for the annual Summer Festival.

Organiser Graham Harrison has already designed the logo for next year, with an eagle playing a saxophone, signalling the intention to roll this excellent event into the council run summer festivities.

The final day of festivities is today, with doors, running between midday and 10.30pm.

What did you think of the festival? Leave your thoughts below.