While in the UK the variety of beers was limited in the past to what was available in the local area, today beers are seen not just as something to slake away thirst after a long day at work but as something to be enjoyed in some of the best bars and restaurants. Craft beers are popular not only with the young crowd but also by those looking to expand their horizons into experiencing more than the regular pint down at the local pub.
One of the best and most fun ways to discover new craft beers is to spend a day at a UK Beer Festival. With many to choose from throughout the country beer enthusiasts are assured of a great way to spend a weekend, with the possibility of coming home with an appreciation for some of the finest craft beers produced not only in the region but nationwide. While the country itself may not be huge the love of beer certainly is, which is only confirmed by the number of beer festivals hosted annually throughout the country.
Great British Beer Festival
Kensington, London is home to the Great British Beer Festival, where beer enthusiasts from all over the UK and beyond gather to sample not only UK craft beers but also cask ales offered from USA, Germany and Belgium. As the name suggests this festival attracts large crowds, with as many as 50,000 people visiting and sampling a wide variety of craft beers, great food and live entertainment. Often referred to as the World’s Largest Pub the Great British Beer Festival is one of the best festivals to spend time at.
London Craft Beer Festival
Held at the larger, new location of the old Shoreditch Electric Light Station in Hoxton Square, the London Craft Beer Festival runs for 5 days, giving all beer enthusiasts to enjoy all that it offers at least one day or its duration. With over 45 breweries participating, visitors can choose to sample from over 300 different unique beers, including some from out of Europe and the USA. The festival also provides a wide variety of great-tasting food to satisfy even the largest appetite, and live music and other entertainment. The London Craft Beer Festival also boasts a resident DJ to keep the music flowing at all times, adding an enjoyable element to what is already a fantastic event.
Reading Beer & Cider Festival
Held at Christchurch Meadow in Reading, the Reading Beer and Cider Festival is just a short walk from the Reading Railway Station, and offers over 150 different ales plus a great selection of foreign beers. Held over an entire May weekend there is plenty for everyone to do and see, along with the main attraction of sampling a great variety of beers. Live entertainment and music, along with some great hot food dishes compliment the beer tasting, and make the atmosphere of the entire event one of great discoveries and experiences.
Indy Man Beer Con
One of the most unique settings for a beer festival (if not the most) is the Victoria Baths, Manchester, location of the Independent Manchester Beer Convention (Indy Man Beer Con). Aside from some of the best beers on offer, one of the attractions of this festival is that each area is located within one of the old swimming pools. Some of Britain’s best craft brewers will be there to offer a sampling of their latest brews, along with some unique one-off or limited editions. Visitors to the festival can make their way from pool to pool sampling beers, filling their stomachs with good food, listening to great music or just relaxing in one of the changing booths with a glass of their choice.
Craft Beer Rising
Located in The Old Truman Brewery at 91 Brick Lane, London the Craft Beer Rising Festival provides visitors with an international range of craft beers from over 10 countries in addition to many from the UK. A wide variety of ales will be available for sampling, along with live music, entertaining talks, street food and even a whiskey and beer cocktail workshop. The festival runs over 3 days and guarantees a good time to be had by all.
National Brewery Centre International Festival of Beer
Held in The National Brewery Centre on Horninglow Street, Burton upon Trent the National Brewery Centre International Festival of Beer truly offers a smorgasbord of beers from the UK and all around the world, with over 50 countries providing their best beers for visitors to sample and enjoy. Around 1000 beers and ciders compete in The International Brewing and Cider Awards, all hoping to have their brews recognized as one of the best in the world. International food stands, live bands and a DJ all add up to make this one of the best UK beer festivals of all time.