20 UK beer festivals to visit in 2015
Beer, real ale, cider and craft beer festivals to keep you merry until Christmas
Whether you are after real ale, craft beer, cider or even a cheeky perry, the UK has an abundance of festivals looking to educate you in the finer points of brewing – and get you thoroughly merry in the process.
7th Annual Beer and Cider Festival
Over 25 beers, ales and ciders, a BBQ, a hog roast and live music on the Cornerstone meadow pyramid stage. Line-up includes Dubweiser, Flights of Helios and Funkinsteins.
Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot, Fri 31 Jul–Sun 2 Aug, free
Scottish Beer Festival
If the Edinburgh Fringe Festival doesn't drive you to drink what will? The Scottish Beer Festival at Cloisters offers 140 beers, from over 70 breweries up and down Scotland.
Cloisters, Edinburgh, Mon 3–Mon 31 Aug, free
Banchory Beer Festival
Weekend beer festival with live music and street foot to enjoy too. There also a bit of gin and cider thrown into the mix.
Deeside RFC, Banchory, Fri 7–Sun 9 Aug, £15
The Ruddy Duck hosts their annual beer festival serving local real ales and ciders. There's also a BBQ and live music from Leon, Circa 73 and DB5.
The Ruddy Duck, Peakirk, Sat 8 Aug, free
Cheltenham Real Ale Festival
Cheltenham CAMRA aim to bring thirsty visitors over 100 ales, ciders and perrys as well as live music and entertainment.
Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham, Fri 14 & Sun 15 Aug, £6
The Highlands' craft beer festival with live music, cocktails and food to supplement the hops. Watch food and drink demonstrations and meet the brewers.
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, Fri 21 & Sat 22 Aug, £15–£40
Inverurie Beer Festival
There’s also cider, gin and Scotland's very first rum at this beer festival. To line your stomach, street food vendors are on hand with a selection of tasty treats, and when you're all full up, you can kick back and listen to some live music.
Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, Fri 25 Aug, £15
The Trossachs Beer Festival
A traditional beer festival with live folk music at weekends, food from the Inn's kitchen and a chance to sample some of the 160 Scottish real ales from the Scottish Real Ale Shop.
The Lade Inn, Callandar, Fri 28 Aug–Sun 13 Sep, free
Beer by the River
Sambrook's Brewery returns to Morden Hall National Trust Park for a day of live music, family entertainment and locally sourced beer and food.
National Trust Morden Hall Park, Morden, Sat 4 & Sun 5 Sep, £5–£10
Haslemere Beer Festival
Draft real ale, cider and bottled continental beers are all available for sampling in this two-day event.
Haslemere Hall, Haslemere, Fri 4 & Sun 5 Sep, £8
Craft Beer Rising
Sample 200 beers from over 45 breweries as Craft Beer Rising comes to Scotland. There’s also live music and DJs.
Drygate Brewery, Glasgow, Fri 4 & Sat 5 Sep, £12
Ale and Arty Festival
A chance to sample a selection of real ales and ciders, plus music, with all proceeds going to charities and local good causes identified by the Rotary Club of Bexhill.
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-On-Sea, Fri 4 & Sat 5 Sep, £5–£8
G Live Beer Festival
The festival returns for a fourth year offering ales and ciders from independent brewers as well as live music, a hog roast and a BBQ.
G Live, Guildford, Fri 11 & Sat 12 Sep, £12
Ayrshire Beer Festival
Sample some of the many real ales, ciders and wines produced by local brewers and visit the Island Bar for beers from islands around the UK at this event hosted by the local branch of CAMRA.
Troon Concert Hall, Troon, Thu 1–Sat 3 Oct, £5
Dundee Rotary Oktoberfest
Throughout the long weekend, a host of live bands provide a soundtrack to the main event: real ale, micro breweries and craft ciders, stouts and lagers, which are housed in the atmospheric surrounds of Dundee's Discovery Quay.
Discovery Quay, Dundee, Thu 1–Sat 3 Oct, £10
Dunfermline Beer Festival
Volunteer-run festival serving over 50 real ales, ciders and perries. Last year saw several breweries launch new beers. There is also live music, hot food and a chance to chat to some of the local brewers.
Glen Pavilion, Dunfermline, Fri 2 & Sat 3 Oct, £10
Ladies can don their Dirndls and men can squeeze into their Lederhosen for the inaugural London edition of the traditional German festival replete with steins of authentic beer, live music, full Oktoberfest decoration, Bavarian food and German-themed games.
Tobacco Dock, London, Thu 8–Sun 11 Oct, £10
Torridon Real Ale Festival
Torridon takes its ales seriously. Showcasing over 20 ales with tasting notes on each, a vote for Ale of the Festival, and some out of the ordinary flavours, seven handpumps work at any one time to keep the ale flowing.
The Torridon, Achnasheen, Fri 9 Oct–Sun 11 Oct, £tbc
Wharfedale Beer Festival
Showcasing over 50 real ales from breweries within or around the Yorkshire Dales.
Grassington Town Hall, Fri 6 & Sat 7 Nov, £12
Portsmouth Beer Festival
Enjoy some festive merriment and sample a variety of craft beers, cask ales and ciders from local and national breweries, accompanied by music from local bands.
The Guildhall, Portsmouth, Fri 18 & Sat 19 Dec, £10