One of my favorite things to do, both while traveling and while staying local, is to check out any beer or food festivals that might be going on. They’re a great way to get exposed to new styles and tastes, and to gain new ideas as a brewer. However, when traveling, it can often be hard to figure out the where and when of an area’s beer festivals. Yes, everyone’s heard about the big festivals like the Great American Beer Festival, Oktoberfest, or the Great British Beer Festival, and they’re undoubtedly great events, but smaller events can be a great way to get in touch with what’s going on at a local level. It’s also a great way to taste some smaller batch or more experimental brews.
That said, January is a bit of a thin month this year for British beer festivals. The National Winter Ale festival is being held in mid-February, instead of it’s traditional January date. However the end of the month is home to some large, quality festivals, including the Cambridge Winter Ales festival, the Manchester Beer and Cider festival, and the Colchester Winter Ale festival. I’m mapped out each of this month’s festivals, and added what information about them is available online, including beer lists (or at least the number of expected beers), festival dates, location, and site pages. This map should serve as a resource for all those traveling through the UK that want to check out the UK beer scene and get a taste for what Britain has to offer. Other months are soon to follow.
|Manchester Beer and Cider Festival|
Dates: Wednesday 22nd -Satuday 25th
Beer Selection: 300+ cask conditioned ales, 75 ciders and perries,and a selecton of bottle conditioned ales.
National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
|Cambridge Winter Ale Festival|
Dates: Thurs Jan 23rd – Saturday Jan 25th
Beer list: Not yet published, likely 100+ ciders and ales.
University Social Club, Cambridge, United Kingdom
|Colchester Winter Ale Festival|
Dates: Wed Jan 22 – Saturday 25th
Beer list: 100+ beers, ciders, and perries. In addition, there will be a bar serving bottled and draught Belgian beers.
Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, United Kingdom
|25th Exeter and East Devon Beer Festival|
Dates: Fri Jan 10- Sat Jan 11th
Beer list: 60+ ciders and ales
Exeter City F.C., Stadium Way, Exeter, United Kingdom
|Festival of South West Award Winning Ales |
Dates: Fri Jan 31st - Sun Feb 2nd
Beers: A selection of beers that have won Gold, Silver, or Bronze in beer festivals
The Smugglers Inn, Dawlish, United Kingdom
Dates: Fri Jan 24th - Sat Jan 25th
Beer list: Not posted
Castle Street Social Club, Salisbury, United Kingdom
|Bent & Bongs Beer Bash|
Dates: Thurs Jan 30- Sat Feb 1
Beer List: Not yet posted
Formby Hall, Manchester, United Kingdom, Europe
|Pendle Beer Festival|
Dates: Thurs Jan 30th – Sat Feb 1st
Beer List: Not Posted
The Muni Theatre, Albert Road, Colne, United Kingdom
|Lichfield Winter Beer Festival|
Dates: Fri 17th Jan - Sat 18th Jan
Beer List: Not published
The Guildhall, Lichfield, United Kingdom