Sunshine, rising temperatures and longer days call for fresh beers, and there’s nothing better than discovering your newest favourite surrounded by an amazing festival atmosphere. So, to help you out on your craft beer journey this year, we’ve put together a list of the best craft beer festivals in 2019.
23rd - 26th January | Manchester
Kicking off this year’s festivities is the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival, which takes place at Manchester Central. Head over for a whopping choice of over 745 different beers, ciders, fruit wines and gins spanning 24 bars. Beer-wise, though, you can expect to try a bit of everything from traditional British ales to modern and international crafty beers.
2nd - 3rd February | Brighton
The Old Market, known fondly as TOM, is a well-loved independent theatre and cultural venue. Over this weekend in February however it’s set to be taken over by a brand new festival featuring brewers from Brighton and beyond. Enjoy this chilled affair with great beer and local pop-up food stalls.
21st - 23rd February | London
155 breweries including Fourpure, Brooklyn Brewery and BrewDog are set to attend Craft Beer Rising 2019. Head to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane for this unmissable UK craft beer event and general party atmosphere. There’s live music every evening and street food to be sampled in “the Fox’s Den”, the brand new dining area set up to tap into the trend of beer and food pairings.
11th - 17th March | Sheffield
Collaboration is the message at the heart of this week-long celebration, which takes place throughout the city in various local pubs, restaurants and bars. You’re free to roam around brewery open days, sample food pairings at participating restaurants, and enjoy tap takeovers hosted by bars in the city - all in the name of celebrating Sheffield's beer scene.
4th - 7th April | Manchester
The UK’s biggest dedicated lager festival returns this year with the ethos, “Drink Better Lager”. The four day event in Manchester’s Deansgate aims to showcase the best lager they can get their hands on in an effort to demonstrate the power of this often overlooked beer style. It’s accompanied by music from Manchester’s longest running club night, Funkademia.
May: Exact dates TBC | Oxford
What better way to enjoy the warmer weather in May than with a cold beer brewed locally in Oxford? The Oxford Brewers Alliance organise this series of events held across the city to shine a light on the diversity of local beers in the area. Events are yet to be finalised but will be updated soon.
24th - 25th May | Edinburgh
The first breweries are soon to be announced for this exciting event in Leith, but we do know that along with exceptional craft beers from Scotland and elsewhere, attendees will be treated to pop-up kitchens and live music. The best part is, once you’ve bought your ticket, everything’s included (yes, even all the beer), so aside from food and extra merch you can enjoy the festival worry-free.
31st May - 1st June | Belfast
Craft beer and gin lovers unite at this year’s Belfast Craft Beer Festival, which features a Gin Garden as its headliner! But don’t be fooled: craft beer still takes centre stage. Put their 200+ list of top quality Irish brewers to the test alongside servings of gin cocktails, ciders, pizzas, hot dogs and of course, a thoroughly buzzing atmosphere.
7th - 8th June | Bristol
Lloyds Amphitheatre in Bristol is the setting for the Bristol Craft Beer Festival, which boasts hundreds of special beers. And, like the Edinburgh event (see above), a ticket grants you access to the festival as well as all your beer, a glass, and the festival magazine.
27th - 30th June | Liverpool
This one’s definitely worth checking out if you’re the early-adopter type or keen to discover exciting and innovative new craft breweries from all over the world. It’s held at the Invisible Wind Factory, which is “a cultural theme park of the future”. That says it all, really, doesn't it?
6th - 10th August | London
Head to the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London for CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival. This yearly event promises a truly enormous selection of craft beers and real ales from all around the world to fill the space, along with fun entertainment and activities.
Dates TBC | Malton
North Yorkshire dwellers would do well to visit the market town of Malton for an afternoon to experience the town transform into a “Theatre of Beer” for Beertown. Beers are yet to be announced, but last year’s event showcased 70 of the best brews from some of the hottest breweries in the UK and further afield.