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Top 10 British beer festivals this summer

It’s summer (we think) and that means it’s the perfect time for a beer festival or two, but which are the ones to look out for?

We all love a beer festival on this tiny, rainy island, and though we don’t usually need a festival to enjoy a well-earned brew, the summer does give us all an added impetus to uproot ourselves from the pub and go searching for something a little different.

A list in The Telegraph has highlighted 10 of the best, and below we explain exactly why they’re worth your time, money, and hangovers.

VicFest – Nottingham

When: July 16-31

Where: Beeston, Nottingham

Held at a Victorian-era railway hotel, those familiar with the pub already will be well aware of the 12 cask ales they have on tap. However, during VicFest, that number swells to over double as they welcome guest ales from all over the country.

London Beer City – London

When: August 5-14

Where: London Beer City

Rather than being just a single festival, Beer City instead hold a collection in one go under their roof. Typically established to celebrate the capital’s beer output and fledgling scene.

The festival launches at the Duke’s Head in Highgate and includes a walking tour of London’s brewery heritage.

South Devon Railway Real Ale Festival – Staverton, Devon

When: August 26-29

Where: Staverton, Devon

Held on the platform of Staverton Railway Station, the festival will be home to over 50 cask ales in late August. However, this is not a festival just for beer fans, as several steam trains will be pulling through the station sending those into their beer and transport (not at the same time, of course!) into a real frenzy.

Northern Craft – Staveley, Cumbria

When: July 21-23

Where: The Beer Hall, Hawkshead Brewery

Over three days in late July the Hawkshead Brewery building becomes a Mecca of celebrating northern craft brewery. Over 80 beers will be available to try as well as some seriously good food to throw into the swirl.

The Great British Beer Festival – London

When: August 9-13

Where: Olympia, London

The atmosphere at Olympia has frequently been derided at past festivals but the sheer selection on offer more than makes up for it. Organised by the folks at the Campaign for Real Ale, they have excelled themselves this year by bringing in hundreds of beers from all over the world.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival – Bristol

When: September 2-3

Where: Bristol

Based in a warehouse and packed to the rafters with street food stalls, Bristol’s Craft Beer Festival has a much more modern (read: hipster) feel to it than the others on the list. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly with over 250 beers on display. It’s likely to get raucous.

Dray of the Dead – Surrey

When: July 28-30

Where: The Hope, Carshalton

The Hope is no stranger to beer festivals, holding an average of one a month, but July’s theme is based on the cult horror flick of the same name. Though we’re not sure what the theme will entail exactly, we do know that the majority of the festivities will be held in a marquee at a pub that is central to its community.

Peterborough Beer Festival – Peterborough

When: August 23-27

Where: Peterborough

Now making it to the ripe old age of 39, there will be 400 cask ales on offer in celebration for the 30,000 thirsty punters expected to pop by. Attendees can also know that they are contributing to a good cause, too, having raised over £250,000 for the RNLI since 1989.

Bear Inn Ale, Music and Cider Festival – Somerset

When: August 27-29

Where: Wiveliscombe, Somerset

Wiveliscombe may only be a small town on the edge of Exmoor, but it has been blessed with four breweries and to celebrate that, a bountiful beer and cider festival is organised to see out the August bank holiday.

Northampton Men’s Own RFC Beer Festival – Northampton

When: July 30

Where: Northampton

With over 30 local beers and ales on offer and set to a background of the rugby 7s, the event is slowly turning into a solid favourite with young families and rugby fans.

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