The New England Real Ale Festival (NERAX) returns to Somerville this weekend with five terrific sessions. NERAX is one of my favorite local events and is especially good for beer enthusiasts seeking to broaden their horizons.

"What is real ale?" you ask. Real ale is cask conditioned, completing its secondary fermentation in the vessel from which it's served. There is no additional carbonation other than what happens naturally, and the beers are served at more or less room temperature. If you've been to a real English pub and passed over the frosted tap of Stella Artois for something more authentic, you've probably had a real ale.

NERAX takes place at the Somerville American Legion Hall, Post 388. You can find all the information you need here.

-- The Drink Craft Beer Springfest, a celebration of hops, takes place on April 5 and 6. The festival is a celebration of hops and includes tons of local brewers. I've been to the first two festivals put on by these guys and have had a great time at both.

The beer list for this fest looks awesome. Tickets are on sale now. You can buy them here.

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