As summer hits full swing, we bring you yet another edition of our Beer Festival Guide, letting all you ale lovers know where the places to be are this month in each region. So with no further ado, let’s get started.
Scottish Real Ale Festival, Edinburgh, 10-13th July:
Taking place at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange, the Scottish Real Ale Festival features the best beers Scotland has to offer, and with prices starting at £2.80 a pint, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Entry is £6 (or £4 for CAMRA members) and you receive a complementary pint or half glass, which is yours to keep once the festival is over. Just remember to keep it with you during the festival to get served regularly. For more information, visit sraf.org.uk
Craft Hotel Sausage and Beer Festival, Wigtown, 28-30th July:
Wigtown’s first sausage and beer festival will take place at the Craft Hotel. Surprisingly little information has been posted on social media, but if you’re interested, updates will be posted on their Facebook page.
Tyneside Sausage and Cider Festival, North Shields, June 30th-July 1st:
Despite what the name suggests, there are more than just cider and sausages on offer at this country-style festival, including local ales and vegan and vegetarian food. With lots of entertainment on show and from just £5 per ticket, you’d be canny daft to miss this. Visit the website for more information.
Yorkshire and the Humber
MonkeyFest, Huddersfield, 1st-2nd July:
Featuring over 60 ciders, a selection of food and live music, you’ll be sure to have a great weekend, all while raising money for The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. £2 entry gets you a complementary programme and commemorative glass, so get down and show your support for your local ale, foods and musicians. More information is available at monkeyclub.co.uk.
SPBW Woodfest, Castleford, 6-8th July:
The Society for the Protection of Beers from the Wood have announced a festival in aid of their traditional ale-loving cause, with over 50 beers from wooden casks available for punters to enjoy beer the way it used to be. Entry alone is £2, but there a many sales promotion for you more avid fans to get stuck into, which can be seen on the website.
Cleveleys Beer Festival, Lancashire, 6-9th July:
Clevelys Beer Festival returns for its second annual outing following last year’s sell-out event. It’s no surprise last year’s event went so well, with free entry, live entertainment and a selection of hand-pulled cask ales, craft ales and world beers on offer for those who wish to grace The Venue in Clevelys with their presence. Find out more on their Facebook page.
Waterloo Beer & Cider Festival, Blackpool, 14-16th July:
They love a free event in this part of the world and the Waterloo Bar doesn’t disappoint, offering a concoction of beers, ciders and live music over the course of the weekend. In an ever-growing digital world, a somewhat unusual approach to getting more information about this event is to call 01253 407886.
Cricketers Arms Summer Beer Festival, St. Helens, 20th-23rd July:
Stocking only local beers and beers from micro-breweries, the Cricketers Arms Summer Beer Festival is the perfect way to support your local economy whilst having a good old dirnk at the same time. The festival takes place at the LocAle accredited, CAMRA Pub of the Year Cricketers Arms, so you’re sure to have a great weekend in St. Helens.
Derby Summer Beer Festival, Derby, 5-9th July:
One of the longest running beer festivals, the Derby Summer Beer Festival returns for its 40th annual get-together at Market Place in the city centre, with live entertainment including everything from Jazz to Rock. Beers to be announced soon, found at derbycamra.org.uk.
West Brigfordians Summer Beer Festival, Nottingham, 13-16th July:
West Brigfordians Cricket Club brings a LocAle Beer Festival to its door for the 3rd year in a row, which features over 30 local beers accompanied by T20 cricket, BBQs and live music. For information on what entertainment is on each day or what ales will feature, visit the website.
Rails Ale Festival, Leicestershire, 21st-23rd July:
A clever play on words isn’t all that’s on offer at the 8th annual Rails & Ales Festival in Market Bosworth, with over 80 ales, 30 ciders, 10 live steam road locomotives and a bouncy castle for children (or maybe the older punters after a few visits to the Pimm’s Bar). This is a festival that really caters to all of your needs, so get down if you have the chance. More information at battlefieldline.co.uk.
Stratford-upon-Avon Beer & Cider Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon, 7-8th July:
Although the £10 entry to the event at Stratford-upon-avon Racecourse seems a little steep, you certainly get your money back with £5 in beer tokens (an extra 2 available for CAMRA members) and a £1 refundable souvenir glass. All ales and ciders are the same price, so it gives you a real way of experiences all the ales Warwickshire has to offer. To access beer and cider lists and much more, go to stratfordbeerfestival.org.uk.
Shrewsbury Beer Festival, Shrewsbury, 20th-22nd July:
The guys in Shrewsbury are expecting big things this year, moving to a new venue, providing extra seating and sourcing over 100 beers to taste, so if you want to be part of this movement, get down to the former Wakeman School, or visit the website for more information
Llechfan Garden Railway and Beer Festival, Gwynedd, 1st-2nd July:
20 real ales accompany a number of steam trains to celebrate 40 years of garden railways. At £3 a pint and free entry, you’re sure to get good value for you money whilst you take in the sights and tastes. For more information, visit tallylyn.co.uk.
Cherry Tree Beer Festival, Suffolk, 14-16th July:
The highly acclaimed Cherry Tree Pub in Woodbridge brings over 20 real ales, alongside hot and cold food, from 10:30am for you early-morning drinkers. To access the beer list or find out more about the venue, visit thecherrytreepub.co.uk.
The Colchester Summer Beer and Cider Festival, Colchester, July 27-30th:
A combination of cricket, beer, cider, pop-up food stalls and live music & DJs is an absolute steal at £3 entry, including programme and free glass. It takes place at The Pavillion, in the heart of Colchester and it is truly unmissable. For information regarding times, nearby accommodation and more, visitcolchester.com have all your needs adhered to.
Sir Colin Campbell Real Ale & Craft Beer Festival, Kilburn, 30th June-2nd July:
Despite what the name suggests, this is not a celebration of Sir Colin Campbell, but a celebration of the ales North London has to offer, at the Sir Colin Campbell pub in Kilburn. It features, 16 real ales and 7 special event ales, paired with food and live Irish music. Get your dancing shoes on and there’s no need for a ticket, because, surprisingly, this event is free. Who said London was expensive? For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.
Ales Tails Belgian Beer Festival, The Oval, July 21st-22nd:
This celebration of Belgian craft beers and belgian-inspired food operates a little differently to other festivals in an all-you-can-eat/drink style. For £35 each day, you have 5 hours to fill your loafers with ale and food. With London prices, I think that works out at about three pints, so you’re definitely getting a bargain here. To buy tickets or found out more, go to alestales.com.
Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival, Chelmsford, 4-8th July:
The Chelmsford Summer Beer Festival has come a long way since its first event in 1977, to offer over 300 ales and 100 ciders, alongside live music and a family fun day. Visit cbcf.info for, well, the info.
Cuddington Beer Festival, Surrey, 14-15th July:
You couldn’t get more like Surrey if you tried, with this festival in aid of the Cuddington Scouts Group. 40 ales and 20 ciders from London are provided for those in attendance, alongside freshly cookes food. Information and tickets can be found at scoutingforbeer.org.uk.
Kent Beer Festival, Canterbury, 20th-22nd July:
With themed live music from Jazz nights to The Swinging 60’s and a camping option available, Kent Beer Festival can make a weekend to remember. With all beers bought via tokens, you can sample a wide range of ales, but make sure you get there early, because the popular beers sell out fast. Visit kentbeerfestival.com for more information.
Donkeytown Beer Festival, Lymington, 14-17th July:
Over 20 ales, 12 ciders and live music throughout, this free event is not to be missed if you want to support your local breweries. And if that’s not enough, they’re running a ‘mop-up Monday’ where you can buy all the ale that’s been unsold for £1 per half pint and you can even take some beer vessels and bring it home. The event information can be found at the Pennington Sports and Social Club website.
Gumbeerfest, Somerset, 21st-22nd July:
Gumbeerfest is truly a day for the family, with u14s going free. It features activities such as face painting, arts and crafts (to accompany your ales), skittles, gladiator jousting, a bouncy castle, children’s entertainment and a beer pong championship. No matter who accompanies you, they’re sure to enjoy it with Gumbeerfest catering for everyone’s tastes. And speaking of tastes, over 40 craft beers will be on offer, alongside an array of local food vendors. gumbeerfest.co.uk has all the information you need.