More than 450 beers to try at biggest ever York Beer & Cider Festival

The 2014 festival. Photograph: Neil Jowsey
16 Sep 2015 @ 4.20 pm
| Entertainment, Food & drink

Knavesmire, Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1DJ

Wed Sep 16-Sat Sep 19; Weds 5.30pm-11pm; Thu-Sat noon-11pm

Wed – public £3, CAMRA members £1; Thu – public £4, CAMRA members £2; Fri & Sat – public £5, CAMRA members £3

Festival website

Hundreds of beers from Yorkshire, Britain and around the world, all inside one tent on our doorstep? Have we died and gone to boozy heaven?

No, it’s the fabulous York Beer & Cider Festival, back on Knavesmire for another fabulous mix of great drink, food and entertainment.

Yorkshire’s largest beer fest does the county proud this year, featuring more than 200 beers from 100 of the 160 breweries found here.

And that doesn’t even make up half of the total choice – altogether about 450 beers will be served up during the four-day fiesta.

Under a giant marquee and run by a cheerful and friendly staff from York CAMRA, the 7th Knavesmire beer festival is set to consolidate its reputation as one of the best in the country.

Ciders, foreign imports and food

Ready to serve… The festival marquee ahead of opening in 2015. Photograph: York Beer Festival on Twitter
Ready to serve… The festival marquee ahead of opening in 2015. Photograph: York Beer Festival on Twitter

If you’re more of a cider aficionado, your tastes are catered for too. More than 100 ciders are available, again many from Yorkshire.

There’s a foreign beers bar, so your tastebuds can go on a global journey, as well as a varied wine selection and soft drinks.

A food village on Knavesmire will serve up some of tasty international street food from around the world.

And the live music stage inside the marquee will keep the party rocking.

Fierce competition

SIBA (the Society of Independent Brewers) has again chosen the York beer fest to host the prestigious regional North East beer competition.

More than 140 breweries will converge on the Knavesmire on the opening day to go head to head for those precious awards and resulting publicity that can really put their beers on the map.

Beer fest questions and answers

Roll out the barrels… Just some of the stock on Knavesmire
Roll out the barrels… Just some of the stock on Knavesmire

Here’s the full lowdown. All answers supplied by the organisers of the festival, York CAMRA.

How do I get to the festival?

It is a 20 minute stroll from York Rail Station, from where you can also take a taxi or catch bus services 4, 12, 13, 21, 37, 843,844, 845 & X43. From York city centre, Stonebow bus stop – services 12, 13, 21, 843, 844, 845 & X43.

What is there to drink?

There will be over 450 real ales; over 100 real ciders and an international bar selling a selection of 20 draught foreign beers (draught and bottled beers including lagers). There will also be a selection of English wines and soft drinks.

Do I have to buy a glass?

You will need to buy a souvenir polycarbonate festival pint or half pint “glass” when you arrive (licencing conditions do not allow real glass) which can be refunded should you choose, when you leave the festival.

Are there beer tokens or is it a cash bar?

There will be no beer tokens – you pay cash, as you would in a pub.

How much is a pint?

Visitors in previous years will know that we keep prices as reasonable as possible. Beers will be priced individually to reflect their strength (ABV).

Do you sell drinks in thirds of a pint?

Yes, glasses are marked for third and half pint measures as well.

Will there be a programme available?

Yes, for a very small charge you can buy a programme listing all the available beverages with tasting notes.

Will all the beers in the programme be available at all times?

We will endeavour to have the greatest range of beers on at all times but reserve the right to keep beers from sale due to them not being ready for drinking. The range will of course diminish as beers sell out.

Do you sell lager?

Do not expect the mass produced brands that you would see in your local! Although this is primarily a real ale festival there will be a selection of premium world lagers available at the Foreign Beer Bar.

Can I bring my own beer?

No – soft drinks only in plastic bottles.

Can I bring children?

Yes, under 18s will be admitted with a responsible adult but will be required to leave by 8pm.

Will I be able to buy food at the festival?

Yes, there will be a wide variety of different hot and cold foods encompassing cuisines from around the world including vegetarian options.

Is there a smoking area?

There is a very large beer garden that accommodates smokers.

Will there be parking available?

There is plenty of parking for bikes. There will be limited on-street parking for cars adjacent to the festival on Knavesmire Road, but of course we do not recommend driving to the festival unless you are a non-drinker.

What about dogs?

Dogs that are kept under control and on a lead at all times are allowed.

Is there live entertainment?

There is a varied programme of live music covering most sessions – exact details of the music acts and various sessions are still being finalised and will appear nearer to the festival.

What if it rains?

There is plenty of standing room in the cavernous marquee as well as plenty of seating.

Will I have to queue to get in?

Most of the day there will be no queue (apart from opening time). In 2014 the peak was 15 minutes on Friday night. If we reach our safety limit then we may have to go to “one out – one in”.

Can I buy tickets in advance?

We do not offer advance tickets, just pay on the door when you arrive.

Are you on Twitter and Facebook?