A WINCHESTER brewer has been celebrating after taking top prize at a recent beer festival.

Alfred's Brewery, founded by Steve Haigh and his wife, Isabelle, took gold with their beer Saxon Bronze, at the Winchester Real Ale and Cider Festival.

Mr Haigh said: “I'm really pleased and a bit surprised. I’m chuffed to bits and it’s especially nice to win on your home turf. All the beers were superb, which gives a nice feeling because the two runners-up were great beers and quite well known.”

The event, held on the weekend of Friday, March 22, was organised by the South Hampshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), and is now in its third year.

A packed-out guildhall saw revellers sampling more than 100 real ales, and they were invited to nominate their beer of the festival afterwards.

Over the years, numerous breweries have made Winchester their home, including the Chesil Brewery until circa 1920; the Lion Brewery until 1931 and the Hyde Brewery until 1925.