What’s to drink?
We’ll offer about 80 different real ales from across the country during the festival. Not all the beers will be available at the same time; the range will change during the week of the festival as beer becomes ready to drink or are finished and are replaced on the stillage.
There will be a full range of beer styles on offer for as much of the festival as possible, so whether you’re looking for light golden and hoppy, dark rich and full bodied or a classic brown bitter we’ll hopefully have something to your taste. And if you’ve never been to a festival or aren’t sure what to have don’t panic – we’re happy to let you try before you buy and our knowledge staff are there to help guide you.
Our beer lists will be published close to the festival, so watch this space if it’s not already published here
There will also be a beer list in your festival programme with tasting notes and details of the different styles of beer. We will also be running a live beer list online during the festival so you can always see what’s on and what’s not.
About 20 real ciders (made with apples) and perries (made with pears) will be on offer in a range of styles including fruit-flavoured varieties. As with the beer, the cider and perry range will change during the festival and again, if you’re not sure what to have, our enthusiastic cider-staff will be delighted to help you find something you like.
A range of Belgian Beers will be available showcasing the considerable range of the Belgian Brewers. If you’re a sour-geuze fan, a cherry-beer fancier or anything in between we’re likely to have something to take your fancy.
It’s not just a beer festival – we’ll have English wine from Mersea Island Vineyard available during the whole event.
Simple soft drinks are free. We’ll also offer some no-lo bottled beers.
Do I have to be a CAMRA member?
No! Everyone is welcome. Why not make it a family outing; there’ll be a drink available for all ages. Well behaved children are very welcome until 6.30pm and there’s a small charge of £3 for non members who come along after 3pm.
How much is entry?
Entry before 3pm is free to all.
After 3pm there’s a small entry fee of £3 for non-CAMRA card-carrying members. CAMRA card-carrying members get in for free.
On top of any applicable entry fee, the only things you’ll need to pay for is your glass which is refundable if you return the glass to us) and any beer cards you wish to buy (£12 each).
You can bring your own glass or tankard – but these must be CE marked with their capacity.
* If you’ve visited the festival already in the week and taken your glass home, you’re welcome to bring it back and therefore not have to pay the glass hire again. Also, if you’ve taken your beer card home, bring it back with you to continue using.
Can I pay by card?
Yes, we accept payment by debit or credit card (including contactless cards) for your entry fee (if applicable), beer cards and merchandise.
How do I pay for drinks – what’s a beer card?
We use beer cards for payments at the bar as it speeds up service.
Beer cards are marked with 120 squares – each worth 10p (so worth £12 in total). When you buy your drink at the bar, your card will be marked off with the amount you have spent. For example, if you buy a drink for £3.20, the bar staff will cross off 32 squares, leaving you with 88 squares (£8.80) to spend.
More beer cards are available in £10 and £12 denominations.
If you’re slightly short you can top up with cash up to the value of £1.
Charity starts with my beer card – how?
Each year we have a festival charity. If you have any unused squares on your beer card, the charity would love you to put your card into the yellow collection box near the exit to the festival. All unused (or partially unused) beer cards put into the charity box will be counted and converted to “proper” money by our lovely Treasury team.
I’ve not used my beer card up – can I get a refund?
Yes! When you leave the festival our friendly front of house staff will count the number of unused squares on your card and refund the appropriate amount. So if you have 20 unused squares on your card, you’ll receive a £2.00 refund.
Do I have to return my glass?
No, it’s a souvenir glass so you’re welcome to take it home with you if you wish. If you’d prefer not to take it home, then you can leave it with our front of house staff and receive a £3 refund.
I’ve lost my beer card. Can I get a replacement?
Sorry, no. Your beer card is just like cash, so please keep it safe as replacements cannot be given.
Can I take my beer card home with me?
If you wish to return to the festival on a later date in the week, feel free to take your unused/partially used beer card home with you. Just remember to bring it with you when you return otherwise you’ll need to purchase a new one. We won’t be able to refund any used beer cards after the festival ends.
I’m hungry! Is there anything to eat?
Yes, there’ll be snacks available at all sessions. You can buy crisps, pork scratchings and nuts from the bars. You can even use your beer card to buy snacks if you wish.
For something more substantial we’ll have the Cheese and Pie Man onsite every day.
Ken the Curry Man will be in attendance on Friday evening and Saturday.
We’d also suggest you pop round the corner to the wonderful Church Street Deli
I’m vegan! Will there be beer which is suitable for me?
Yes, we will have vegan beer on the beer list for you to enjoy. Just look out for the “V” printed on the cask cards attached to each beer. As with all beer at the festival, not all beers will be available at all times but hopefully you’ll always find a suitable drink.
I’ve really enjoyed my visit, can I help at the next festival?
Yes! We’re always on the look out for volunteers to help run our festivals, whether that’s on Front of House, floor walking or behind one of the bars, you’ll be made welcome. You don’t need any experience to help out, just look out for the staffing form on the website nearer the time.
What’s an Unfined Beer?
Given enough time beer will clear naturally, but there is often not time to allow it to settle in the cellar for a couple of weeks or more, while nature does it’s thing. So it has long been the practice to add fining to speed this process up. An unfined beer hasn’t had finings added.
Do I need a ticket?
No, we do not require tickets for any sessions.
We do have a fire limit for the venue which we must respect. Very rarely do we become full in which case you may need to queue.
Can I get a pass out?
Yes, you’ll be given a wristband on entry and can return the same day as long as you’re still wearing it without an additional entry fee.