DUDLEY Winter Ales Fayre is underway for the 33rd year, bringing with it the usual celebration of real ale and local heroes to Dudley Town Hall.

Organised by Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of CAMRA, this year's festival will celebrate the life of Industrial Revolution icon Abraham Darby, who was born in Woodsetton.

He was responsible for developing a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke which heralded the beginning of the industrial age in Britain.

Festival organiser Karl Denning explained the importance of celebrating local heroes and their achievements in the world.

He said: "We don't tell the world how inventive we are in Dudley and in the Black Country."

The festival kicked off last night (Thursday) where it was officially opened by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Taylor.

Karl said that footfall was good and up on last year, and organisers expect 2,000 people to make their way to the festival over the weekend.

In a further celebration of the town's achievements, Sarah Hughes' Dark Ruby was named beer of the festival, which is brewed at the Beacon Hotel in Sedgley.

The festival continues today (Friday) from noon till 11pm and Saturday December 1, from noon until 11pm, where over 70 real ales will be offer, along with cider, wine and hot and cold food.

Entertainment will be provided by singer and violinist Delly Bright, covers band Chronicles of Zee, Tora Wilson, Doc Emmett Brown and modern country blues duo Paul n Jeannie and the event will also be raising money for Woodsetton Charitable Trust and Friends of Wren's Nest.