Cambridge & District CAMRA 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival

Monday 23rd—Saturday 28th May 2016

The main logo for the 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival Welcome to the 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival, the longest running CAMRA Beer festival and currently one of the largest regional Beer festivals in the UK.

We are very proud of our festival, we put a lot of time and effort into making it the best we can. We hope that you visit us and have an enjoyable time.

We will be again offering the opportunity to purchase your Beer and Cider in 1/3rd of a pint measure and thus our festival glasses will be lined at 1/3rd of a pint, as well as half and pint lines.

That is it for the 43rd outing of the Cambridge Beer Festival ... we finally cleared the site around 5pm on Friday 3rd June 2016. Unfortunately, we were not as fortunate to have a repeat of previous years good weather. However, despite the rain showers and the variable temperatures during the week, there were several sunny periods, which helped encouraged over 41,000 visitors to visit to the festival, making the 43rd one of the best ever festivals.

You consumed over 86,000 pints of Beer, some 13,000 pints of cider and perry, 9,300 pints of foreign beer and 1,600 bottles of mead and wine, totalling over 110,000 pints in total. But let's not forget that you consumed a tonne of cheese, 100's of loaves of bread, boxes and boxes of crisps, thousands of pork pies, scotch eggs and a quarter of a tonne of pork scratchings.

The team from Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT), this year's Festival Charity, had a fantastic week with us and raised over £16000 to help fund their excellent work. From everyone at Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) and the festival team, a big thank you to everyone who donated.

We would like to apologise for the for the queueing on Thursday, and especially on Friday evenings. However, once again we were extremely short of volunteers and unfortunately, that resulted in a closure of a bar on Friday night due to lack of volunteers, so if you enjoyed the festival, please consider helping us run your festival in the future.

We hope you had a good time and will be joining us again next year. In the mean time, we look forward to seeing you all, visitors and volunteers, again at our next event, the Cambridge & District CAMRA 10th Cambridge Octoberfest in October on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th October 2016 at the University Social Club.

The Beer and Cider of the festival

This year, the visiting public voted Cambridge Brewing Company - Chicken Porter & Harveys - 1790 Prince of Denmark, as joint Beer the festival, third place was Siren Broken Dream.
Simon's Cider - COX!!! was their Cider of the festival and the perry of the festival was Apple Cottage Pyder Buldock. The Mead of the festivalis Spruce Mead from Rookery.

We would just like to thank the local residents and the users of Jesus Green for their continuing support, consideration and understanding whilst the festival is on Jesus Green.

Thanks also go to our loyal and hard working volunteers for their continuing hard work to make the Cambridge Beer Festival a real success. We could not have done it without you, and we hope that you will volunteer again this year. THANK YOU one and all.

The theme

The 43rd Cambridge Beer Festival is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the opening of Addenbrooke's Hospital in 1766. In 1719 Dr John Addenbrooke left a gift of £4,676 in his will to "hire and fit up, purchase or erect a small, physical hospital in the town of Cambridge for poor people."

In keeping with the theme Caskman has completed some basic medical training. An accident prone Caskboy makes his first appearance.

Dr John Addenbrooke was a man of vision and generosity in creating a facility that, each year, has over 103,000 A&E attendances, 575,000 visits to outpatients, 73,000 inpatient admissions and almost 6,000 births. When the hospital first opened, there were just 20 beds. Today our local hospital has over 1,000 beds and in progressing from leeches to lasers has become a national centre for specialist treatment and, with Cambridge University, a leading centre for research and teaching.

We are pleased to be helping to raise vital funds for the hospital through its dedicated charity, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT). All money raised over the week will be used to make a difference for patients over and above what would be possible with NHS funding alone.

About the festival

The Cambridge Beer Festival was first held in 1974 and is the branch's largest and its main Beer festival. During its long run, the festival has had several homes but since 2001 has been held on Jesus Green in late May. The festival is the United Kingdom's longest running CAMRA Beer festival and currently is one of the largest regional beer festivals in the UK. The festival features a wide range of local and national beers of all styles, as well as cider, perry, mead, wine and bottled & draft beers from around the world, with it's now famous CAMRA cheese counter, where a very wide range of fine cheeses, together with locally produced bread, pork pies, ham and other savoury items are available.

Our local producers


Our local breweries will of course be featured, with a range of beers from Moonshine Brewery in Fulbourn, Milton Brewery in Waterbeach, Lord Conrad's Brewery in Dry Drayton, Fellows Brewery in Cottenham, Cambridge Brewing Company in King Street, Cambridge, Crafty Beers in Great Wilbraham, Calverley's Brewery, from Hooper Street, Cambridge.

Following a very successful outing at the 20th Winter Ale Festival, we are very pleased to be welcoming Cambridgeshire's newest brewery - Turpin's Brewery, from Perne Road in Cambridge. We hope that you will give them a warm welcome to the Cambridge Beer Festival by sampling and enjoying their beers.

Returning for their second visit to the Cambridge Beer Festival, will be Three Blind Mice Brewery from Little Downham, Ely, this year they have teamed up with Bexar County Brewery to have their own brewery bar.

KeyKeg Bar

With the growing intrest and availability of "KeyKeg Beer", we have decided to have a dedicated "KeyKeg Bar" this year, to showcase this new form of Beer delviery. We have also arranged for some beers to be available in both cask and KeyKeg, so you can compare the two styles. "For more infomration about KeyKeg page.

Cider Producers

For Cider and perries, we have an extended range of products from the local Cambridgeshire producers, with a strong representation from the five other counties in East Anglia.

We are pleased to be welcome four new local producers, Ermine's Treat, Marchington's, Mayfly and S. O. Cider to the festival.

Whilst from our neighbouring districts, Spinney Abbey Cider in Wicken, Hereward in Ely, Pickled Pig in Stretham, Cromwell in Hemingford Grey and Glebe Farm in Kings Ripton will be making a welcome return, with their range of ciders and perries.

This year's drinks selection

British Beers

This year the dedicated Beer selection team have elected spread their 'Beer net' acorss the counrty, to obtain a wide a range of beers, we hope that you will enjoy these ales.

Foreign Beer Selection

The foreign bar team, are looking to get a generous selection of beers from Germany and Belgium, along with some fine examples from Holland and Spain. Scandinavia is being represented this year, with beers from Sweden and Norway. Finally, we are hoping to have a some beers from North America. As always, these are subject to availability.

Wine Selection

This year we are welcoming back Elysian Fields Vineyard from Little Thetford, Ely make a welcome return, whilst Giffords Hall from Sulfolk, to complement the range of local Wine producers.

Mead Selection

This year we are pleased to welcome Rookery Mead from Perthshire to the Cambridge Beer Festival, whilst Chris, the head brewer at Rookery Mead, will also be working throughout the festival on the Mead Bar. We hope that you will give Rookery Mead and Chris a warm welcome to the Cambridge Beer Festival by sampling and enjoying his Mead.

Opening Times and Admission

Details of the opening times and admission are available here.

Card payments

We are sorry, but we are unable to accept payment at the entrance or at the bars by debit/credit cards - it is cash only. We have a pass-out scheme, should you need to visit a cash machine (map showing location of cash machines) - our volunteers will be able to help locate one if needed. In addition, some of the stalls inside the marquee take card payments and may offer cash back with a purchase.

Age Verification

Under 18s are allowed on site, but must be with a responsible adult - a 17 year old with an 18 or 19 year old friend is not sufficient. As at any licensed premises, it is illegal to buy alcohol if you are under 18, or to buy alcohol for anyone under 18.

At the bars, the festival supports and operates the Challenge21 scheme; if you are lucky enough to look young, then please don't be offended if and when you are asked for ID to check you are over 18. The only acceptable ID is a government issued photo ID (photo driving licence or passport) or a card showing the PASS Scheme hologram. We thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Food at the festival

As well as the famous CAMRA Cheese Counter, offering a very wide range of fine cheeses, together with locally produced bread, pork pies, ham and other savoury items, there are several other food concessions providing a wide range of foods, hopefully, providing something for everyone.

New, for this year, we are going to be offering fresh soup and rolls. We will also have gluten free bread.

Home-made by our food manager, we will have the ever-popular pickled onions and Rosie's pickled eggs, both pickled in Cassels Vintage Cider Vinegar.

We will again be offering premium pork scratchings and crisps, which, will also be available from the bars.

The Cambridge Beer Festival needs you!

The Cambridge Beer Festival is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, without our volunteers the Beer festival would not go on. We are always in need of volunteers, even if you can only do one shift or even just a few hours to cover meal breaks, it would help us tremendously. We were again short of volunteers on several evenings during recent festivals.
In the past the Cambridge Beer Festival has welcomed volunteers from across the United Kingdom (Stockport, Wales, Reading, Croydon to name but a few), as well as volunteers from across the globe.

You can get more details on the volunteering page.

The Cambridge Beer Festival Poster

We would like it very much if you could display the festival poster at your place of work, social club or village/community notice board. You can download a PDF of the festival poster. Alternately, if you're in the Cambridge area we can get printed posters to you - please drop us an email on and we'll arrange to get some to you.