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Best Beer Festivals in the UK

Friday 04 August 2023

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The UK beer scene has always been great, but with our taste for craft beer growing along with the innovation of new brews over the last few years, it has never been better. Whether you’ve always been into your ale or are a brand-new fan of IPA, there are plenty of beer festivals around the UK to open you up to new kinds of beer. Brewed with care and ready for you to enjoy, we have found some of the best beer festivals in the UK.

Indy Man Beer Con, Manchester

When: September/October

Where: Victoria Baths, Manchester

Based in the Grade II listed, historic Victoria Baths, Indy Man Beer Con is a beer festival that aims to showcase and shine a light on some of the best independent breweries in the UK (and beyond!). There are plenty of ticket options to choose from, whether you’re planning to drop in for a quick sample or stick around for an evening’s beer tasting. The main focus of the festival is great beer, of course, but there are also excellent food options to tickle your tastebuds and music acts to entertain you.

If you’re starting your day with CrossCountry, Manchester Piccadilly is a 20-minute bus ride away from Victoria Baths.

Thornbridge Peakender, Bakewell

When: August

Where: Bakewell Showground

Organised by the local Thornbridge Brewery, Peakender is a beer festival specialising in great brews, delicious food, and entertaining music. On top of that, the whole thing is set in the scenic Peak District at Bakewell Showground. Surely one of the highlights of summer, Thornbridge Peakender is a great festival for newbies to craft beer, as there is plenty else to enjoy whilst looking for your perfect stout, pale ale, or lager.

At Thornbridge Peakender, you’ll find some of the UK’s best breweries showcasing their beers, and you can even learn more about the brewing process at their ‘Meet the Brewers’ talks throughout the weekend. Whether you’re bringing little ones along or having a grown-ups’ weekend away, Thornbridge Peakender is a beer festival for all sorts!

To travel by train, Sheffield Station is just over an hour away with a connecting train service.

Bartender pulling a pint of light coloured beer into a glass tankard.

Arboretum Beer Festival, Nottingham

When: August

Where: Nottingham Arboretum

A fairly recent addition to the UK’s growing list of beer festivals, Arboretum Beer Festival takes place in Nottingham, boasting excellent beers, delicious street food, and great music to top it all off! Breweries featured at the festival include Big Drop, Castle Rock, Northern Monk, and even Thornbridge – in case you missed them at Peakender!

Arboretum is a day festival, so instead of dedicating an entire weekend to beer, you can pop by for a few hours and enjoy a vibrant summer Saturday with friends. Set in the great outdoors to make the most of the arboretum’s stunning surroundings, this is a true summer festival to enjoy in Nottingham.

Arboretum Beer Festival is super easy to reach by train, with Nottingham station located on 25-minutes away on foot.

Dark & Wild City, Leeds

When: November

Where: Leeds City Centre

Hosted by Northern Monk Brewery and located in their refectory in the centre of Leeds, Dark & Wild City is one of the best craft beer festivals in the UK. This festival features plenty of Northern Monk beers as well as guest brews from Third Moon, Overtone Brewing Co., Wilderness, and more. For a real flavour of the UK’s craft beer scene, there is no better place.

Whether this is your first time visiting Leeds or you’re a regular in the city, Dark & Wild City festival with Northern Monk is a brilliant introduction to the vibrant city. With great beer and a central location, you can enjoy this festival as part of a larger weekend itinerary.

Situated just a 12-minute walk away from Leeds station, it’s easy to get to by rail.

A group of people gathered in front of the bar at a beer festival, drinking craft beers.

CAMRA Peterborough Beer Festival, Peterborough

When: August

Where: Peterborough Embankment

CAMRA, which stands for Campaign for Real Ale, is an organisation who live and breathe for great beer, so any beer festival hosted by them is not one to be missed! One such festival is Peterborough Beer Festival, held along the riverside embankment in the centre of Peterborough, is a relaxed way to enjoy being out in the Summer sun with friends – with great beer guaranteed.

Peterborough Beer Festival runs across a few days, starting mid-week, so there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy. If you’re joining beer-loving friends but aren’t keen on ale yourself, never fear; there are wine, gin, and cider options at the bar too!

Peterborough station is located just 15-minutes walk away from the beer festival location.

If you’re planning to attend any of our favourite beer festivals, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or the CrossCountry app. If you need more information, you can contact us here.


Written by Julia

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