Leicester Beer Festival 2017
The 2017 Leicester CAMRA Beer Festival runs from Wednesday 8th through to Saturday 11th March, at the Charotar Patidar Samaj, the venue that has been so popular and successful since 2001. We are Located off St Margaret's Way on the corner of South Church Gate and Bay Street behind "Plug" Bathrooms and adjacent to Leicester Volkswagen. Postcode LE1 3AE. Just 15 mins walk from Leicester Railway Station and 5 mins walk from Leicester City Centre and St Margaret's Bus Station. See our festival poster.
Our Ales and Ciders
Leicester Beer Festival is one of the major events in the real ale calendar, featuring over 250 different ales served straight from the cask. Many come from local microbreweries plus others new and small breweries from across the country. We have a full range of beer styles including Milds, Bitters, Golden Ales, IPA's, Stouts, Porters and Fruit Beers. We also have a range of around 40 traditional ciders and perries.
Our main Festival supporter is Everards Brewery, who return with their pop up pub, serving five of their locally brewed beers, including their monthly special beer for March, "Mad Hatters Tea Party", a dark golden beer, brewed with Apple and Rosehip tea.
We will again also be having a bottled continental and UK craft beers bar, and new for this year will be a gin and prosecco bar, provided by our friends at the Black Horse, Aylestone, featuring around 50 speciality gins, many from local independent producers.
Festival Theme & Glass
Our theme this year marks 50 years of local radio. The Marine & Broadcasting Act of 1967 resulted from an upsurge in offshore "Pirate" radio stations, such as Radio Caroline, broadcasting to the UK from international waters. The Act closed a legal loophole causing many of the Pirates to close down but their popularity saw the BBC restructuring its own radio services, establishing Radios 1, 2, 3, & 4 and paving the way for local radio stations. The first of these was BBC Radio Leicester, which first broadcast on 8th November 1967, beating stations in Sheffield, Merseyside and Nottingham by several weeks. In the years since, a number of other local radio stations have hit the airwaves across Leicestershire, including Centre Radio, Leicester Sound, Gem 106, Captial FM, Sabras Radio, Harborough FM and Oak FM.
The festival glass will feature our commemorative logo, shown above, and will be available in half pint tankards and goblets marked at 1/3 and 1/2 pint measures, and pints straight glasses lined at 1/3, 1/2 and 1 pint, which will be priced at £2.50. This is refundable when you have finished as long as the glass is not damaged. They do make great souvenirs to take home though! You can also bring your own glass to use but it must be government or CE stamped. If doing this you must still buy a festival glass upon entry but you can refund this whenever you please during the festival.
Festival Special Brews
We are currently negotiating some one-off brews with our local breweries in connection with our local radio theme. We don't have beers that have been re-badged or renamed for our festival, so all of our festival specials are genuine first time brews.
Leicester Beer Festival supports our local breweries. We have extended our area to 25 miles from the beer festival as the crow flies. This enables us to represent most of the breweries involved.
The festival will feature English food such as our famous local Stilton cobs, speciality pork pies, sausage rolls, nuts, pork scratchings etc. Of course, no Leicester Beer Festival would be without our on-site curry house selling authentic curries to make the beers go down a treat. These will be available throughout the duration of the festival, although last orders for curries will be 30 mins before closing time. We also serve tea & coffee. Soft drinks for nominated drivers are free.
CAMRA members get free admission at all sessions upon showing a valid membership card. You will have to purchase a festival glass at the admission desk for £2.50, which is fully refundable when you have finished if you do not wish to keep it.
This year we will also be trailing a "beercard" token system to remove cash from our bars and will have a combined admission, glass and token package available at the door - see below for details.
NON CAMRA members - see below for admission prices.
If you are lucky enough to look under 21 we will ask to see ID and we retain the right to refuse admission. The festival is licensed premised and we have the right to remove anyone from the festival at any time. Accompanied children will be permitted in the Food Hall area during the daytime but not after 7pm. We are sorry that dogs are not permitted, with the exception of registered assistance dogs.
Please note the whole event is No Smoking - smokers can get a "passout" and we'll keep your beer glass safe for you. The use of e-cigarettes is also not permitted inside the hall.
Opening Hours & Prices
Wednesday 8th March 5pm to 11pm = £2.50
Thursday 9th March 11am to 11pm = £2.50
Friday 10th March admissions 11am to 3pm = £2.50, admissions 3pm to 11pm close = £3.50
Saturday 11th March admissions 11am to 5pm = £2.50, admissions 5pm to 10pm close = free
There is no need for advance tickets - just pay on the door.
Free admission to card carrying CAMRA members and University Real Ale Society members at all times.
This year we will be trailing a beercard token system to make our bars cashless and speed up our service to you.
All customers will pay £10 at the door which will include entry at the above rates, refundable glass deposit of £2.50 and the balance as a beercard token. Further beercard tokens can then be purchased inside the festival, with any unused tokens being fully refundable when you leave.
Join CAMRA at the Beer Festival
If you are not already a member, you can always join CAMRA at the festival. As well as a package of benefits in joining the biggest consumer group in Europe, we will also give you some free beer and other goodies !
Our Beer Festival Programme will be read by over 5000 people. We offer reasonable advertising rates, particularly to breweries and publicans, so contact us if you would like to publicise your business. Please display our festival poster at your local pub or workplace.
We need a hand - be a Festival Maker !
We cannot run the beer festival without the help of over 100 volunteers over the duration of the event. We start on the previous Saturday, preparing for and receiving deliveries. On the Sunday most of the main activity starts by building the stillage etc. Then on Sunday and Monday most of the beer is delivered - over 270 casks !
We will give you a Health and Safety briefing and training is given if required. We have loads of jobs that need doing, so if you don't fancy working behind a bar we can find something for you such as glasses, admissions, food etc. It is a fun experience and we do reward you with beer tokens and food, depending on how long you work.
Update 01/03/17: Most sessions are now fully staffed although we may require some extra staff on the late afternoon & evening on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March. If you wish to volunteer for these please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of Leicester pubs will be holding events around the same time as our beer festival, giving extra reasons to come to the city.
A jointly organised "Leicester Festival Trail" will be taking place between Wed 9th and Sat 11th March at the King's Head on King Street, Broood@VinQuatre on King Street/New Walk, The Criterion and Blue Boar, both on Millstone Lane. The pubs will be featuring over 80 beers, many from brand new breweries, complementing those we have at Leicester CAMRA Festival.
The Salmon on Butt Close Lane and Ale Wagon on Charles Street will all be hosting a changing selection of guest ales during festival week. Leicester's only brew-pub, The West End Brewery on Braunstone Gate will be serving a range of their own beers and guest ales.
For details of these pubs plus over 35 others check out our guide to city centre pubs.
For any enquiries you may have regarding the Leicester Beer Festival, email us at: email@example.com