Summer Beer Festivals South of the Border

Thinking of drinking some brews down South?

Our pick of the Beer Festivals in England and Wales this Summer…

A while back we looked at all the great beer festivals that are taking place this year in Scotland, by now we’re sure you’ve made a few plans but it’s important not to forget about the host of exciting beer-based events that are taking place just south of the border in England and Wales. Whilst we know that many Scottish folk might turn their noses up at heading down south for a jaunt, especially when there are so many great beer festivals in our own Scotland, it would be silly to ignore the sheer variety of events that take place in England over the heady summer months.

There was a time when beer festivals were nothing more than a collection of kegs and a handful of old men getting slowly sozzled in the back room of a pub, but things have changed since then. Where once just a scattering of timber packing cases and barrels would have sufficed, a lot more is expected of organisers today. Beer festivals are now massive events that draw in more than just ale-lovers; they’re mainstream events that attract as many young hipsters and students as they do pub-goers and traditional drinkers.

With that in mind, we’ve carefully selected four events in England that best exemplify the traits of a modern beer festival:

Liverpool Craft Beer Expo

Six years in and this independently managed festival is returning bigger than ever and in a new location. Moving into the hip, cavernous surroundings of Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, over 5000 people are expected to attend over the course of four days, with over 300 craft beers due to be in attendance. This is truly a modern festival and although the name might suggest a stiff upper lip convention that’s only for those in the industry, the reality is a 5-hour session filled with great beer, awesome food and a winning lineup of music acts.

When? 26th-29th July 2018 How much? £10.50-12.50 per session

Bristol Craft Beer Festival

Creativity, quality and independence are at the heart of the what this small, young beer festival tries to champion. Over 35 breweries will be bringing their beers to their new location at Bristol’s Harbourside and with the Summer sun sure to be blasting down, this will be an event well worth going to. Music in the past has been provided by big acts such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Metronomy and DJ Yoda so, although the lineup has yet to be announced, you can be sure there’ll be someone good on.

When? 14th-16th September 2018 How much? £35 per session

Great British Beer Festival

Probably one of the most prestigious festivals on this list, the Great British Beer Festival is the largest of its kind in the UK and a veritable mecca for beer lovers the world over. Held at the massive Olympia in London, there’ll be a staggering 900+ ales at this year’s event exhibiting the very best of beer from all over the world. Run by CAMRA, this is an event that has carefully sidelined the hip leanings of its competition and has remained true to its roots with plenty of pub games and entertainment to keep you busy.

When? 7th-11th August 2018 How much? £11 per session

Manchester Beer Week

What’s better than a day spent drinking beer? How about an entire week! Whilst we can’t recommend that you actually spend an entire week drinking beer, because of the obvious health implications, its worth visiting the buzzing city of Manchester at the start of July to soak up the good weather and discover more about beer. This city-wide festival is comprised of over a 100 separate events giving you the opportunity not just to drink beer but also learn about its provenance and future.

When? 29th June-8th July 2018 How much? Price varies depending on event.

Our Pick of 2018’s Scottish Beer Festivals

Scottish Beer Festivals to get stuck into.

Thinking about taking a trip up to see us? Then why not coincide it with one of these excellent Scottish Beer Festivals.

Beer festivals are a thing of rare beauty. Executed properly you have all the ingredients to create a truly magical weekend. Luckily for you, we’ve got the lowdown on the very best beer festivals that Scotland has to offer. The events that we’ve included might be a bit of a distance for any Forth Valley local to venture out to, but they all have one thing in common: truly excellent beer.

The common beer festival has had a long time to change over the years. Where once it would have been as simple as a single barrel of ale in a tent, it has now transformed into a self-sustaining industry. Although many consider the CAMRA curated beer festivals as the purest form of the event, many younger pretenders have come to challenge for this crown; our list cherry-picks the best of both worlds:

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival

This relatively young festival is attempting to shake things up a little bit. Aimed at a younger, middle-class clientele; the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is designed to be a non-fussy beer event that gives you instant access to dozens of brewers from across the UK as well as all their lovely beer.

So what’s their hook? One ticket gives the eager drinker an opportunity to drink 6 pints of whichever beer they desire as well as access to street food and music acts.

How much? £35 per session. When? 25th-27th May 2018.

Perth Beer Festival

Over the last few years Perth Beer Festival has evolved from just a simple one-session event to a huge family event that has proven to be a huge success.

The town of Perth is a bright and lively one, with the festival itself taking place on the open stretch of land known as the North Inch. The beer list is typically excellent this year, with many exciting new brewers lining up to sell their wares to the thirsty punters. Stay for the weekend and you can enjoy the Comedy Night on the Friday, the Dog Show on the Saturday day session and then the live music in the evening!

How much? £20 for each event. When? 11th-12th May 2018.

Paisley Beer Festival

Organised and run by the Renfrewshire branch of CAMRA, this long-running beer festival has been held in Paisley Town Hall pretty much annually for over thirty years. In fact, 2018’s Paisley Beer Festival will be the 31st edition of the popular event and they’ve learnt a thing or two over the years. Expect an unmanageable wealth of beers on offer, as well as a generous side-serving of foreign beers, ciders and wines – for those who would rather taste something from further afield.

How much? £6 for non-CAMRA members. £4 for members. When? 25th-28th April 2018.

Fyne Fest

Founded in 2010, FyneFest is organised by well-established brewers Fyne Ales and whilst you’re obviously going to find their whole range of excellent beers on offer, you’ll also be able to grab fresh pints from some of the best up and coming British brewers. In addition to keeping the British ales flowing all day, the organisers also schedule timed tapping beers, providing discerning drinkers with the opportunity of trying out a rare European brew.

How much? From £47.50 for a Day Ticket with no camping. When? 1st-3rd June 2018.