10 of the best craft beer festivals in the UK

There’s a new breed of beer festival that’s sprung up around Britain in the past few years.

From the warm ale, beards and pork pies of old , we now have the shiny world of craft beer festivals (plus a whole new generation of beards).

Each festival has its own personality, and they’re the perfect opportunity to try malty, hoppy goodness from all over the country that isn’t necessarily so easily sourced in pubs alone.

Beer lover Kate Major names ten of the best UK beer festivals worth travelling for.

FyneFest, Argyll

Fyne Fest offers food, music and, most importantly, beer in abundance. Situated in the middle of Glen Fyne, there are few more picturesque settings for a beer festival. The hosts, Fyne Ales, pride themselves on gathering the best available in the British Isles. The likes of Magic Rock, De Molen, Wild Beer Co. and many more mean this festival is a beer-­lover’s oasis.

When? June 12-14

Where? Fyne Ales, Achadunan, Cairndow, Argyll, PA26 8BJ


Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, Liverpool

The Liverpool Craft Beer Expo’s manifesto states that their raison d’etre is showcasing the best craft beer. Over four days, they’ll have at least 70 pumps flowing with fantastic beers from breweries such as Beavertown, The Kernel and Weird Beard. In addition, they have a cider house, a whisky den, and a German beer tent – so there really is something for everyone.

When? June 18-21

Where? Constellations, 37­39 Greenland Street, Liverpool, L1 0BS


Great Peak Weekender, Derbyshire

Thornbridge Brewery are considered by many to be one of the pioneers of the current craft beer revolution. This year sees their tenth year anniversary, so celebrations are sure to be massive. Taking place over three days in the beautiful Peak District, it promises food, drink and stunning scenery.

When? July 3-5

Where? Great Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1NY


Birmingham Beer Bash, Birmingham

In 2013, Brummie beer lovers came together to realise their ideas of a perfect beer festival. The Beer Bash has grown ever since and now promises beers from the likes of Northern Monk, Siren Craft, and Buxton among many others. Local artisan food is also available to line your stomach and prepare you for all for that ale-tasting.

When? July 23-25

Where? The Bond Co., 180/­182 Fazeley Street, Birmingham ­ B5 5SE


Great British Beer Festival, London

For those who want a more traditional feel, but with an truly extensive choice, look no further than GBBF. There is a reason this beer festival is described as the ‘biggest pub in the world’, with a selection of over 900 ales, ciders, perries, and international beers to choose from.

When? August 11-15

Where? Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX


London Craft Beer Festival, London

A huge barbecue, live music, and craft beer galore. The third year of the LCBF is set to have everything a good beer festival needs. London is at the epicenter of the craft beer revolution, and this beer festival is truly reflective of that. This year’s list is yet to be released, but last year saw beers from the likes of Brew By Numbers, Pressure Drop, and Evil Twin. Not to be missed for locals and visitors alike.

When? August 13-16

Where? Oval Space, 29­32 The Oval, Bethnal Green, E2 9DT


Craft Beer Rising, Glasgow

The Drygate Brewery bar is the epitome of ‘craft beer cool’. With an American style bar, wooden terrace and a fantastic range of beers – it’s already a brilliant drinking spot. It isn’t any surprise that Craft Beer Rising choose to hold their beer festival here. Scotland’s brewing scene has taken off a lot in the last few years and this festival is the perfect occasion to sample the best of them.

When? September 4-5

Where? Drygate Brewing Co, 85 Drygate, Glasgow, G4 0UT


Leeds International Beer Festival, Leeds

The Leeds International Beer Fest has oodles of beer from the world’s finest artisan breweries, but that isn’t all. A street food festival is occurring at the same time, in the same place – and it’s well known that nothing pairs better than decent beer and good ­quality street food.

When? September 3-6

Where? Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, LS1 3AD


Indy­Man­Beer­Con, Manchester

Manchester’s Victoria Baths is the ideal beer festival location; a grade II listed building just outside Manchester City Centre. Bars are situated in the drained­-out swimming pools, and the changing rooms and Turkish baths make the perfect place to sup the delights they have on offer. Countless food stalls, the best of British breweries, and the perfect setting make this a truly unmissable event.

When? October 8-11:

When? Victoria Baths, Hathersage Rd, Manchester, M13 0FE


Steel City Beer Festival, Sheffield

Now in its 41st year, the Steel City’s festival boasts 150 craft beers and real ales from Sheffield breweries and further afield. The industrial museum in which it takes place offers a quirky backdrop with lots to explore, while supping a few pints of course. There is food from local eateries, live music, and even a demo from the massive River Don Engine on the Friday.

When? October 21-24

Where? Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY


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Main image: Drygate

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