Cambridge & District CAMRA 42nd Cambridge Beer Festival

Monday 18th—Saturday 23rd May 2015
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Well that is just about it for the 42nd outing of the Cambridge Beer Festival ... we have now just got to clear the site and returning Jesus Green to its pristine state. Despite the rain showers and the variable temperatures during the week, there were several sunny periods, which helped encouraged a very respectable 36,000 of you to visit to the festival. Thank you for braving the weather.

We would like to apologise for the for the queueing on Thursday, Friday and especially on Saturday, but we were extremely short of volunteers and unfortunately, that resulted in a closure of a bar 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 9th Cambridge Octoberfest in October on Friday the 16th and Saturday the 17th October 2015 at the University Social Club.

The beer and cider of the festival

This year, the visiting public voted Humpty Dumpty Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, as beer the festival.
Biddenden Strong was their cider of the festival.
The volunteers chose Anspach & Hobday The Porter as their beer of the festival.

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 to 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 theme for the 42nd Cambridge Beer Festival is the number 42 and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comic science fiction series by Cambridge-born and educated Douglas Adams.

In keeping with the theme Caskman has taken on the likeness of Arthur Dent, the hapless Earth man who left the planet with his dressing gown. Caskman, like any frood, is of course carrying his towel - which is just about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Caskman and his friend Ford Prefect (also looking like Caskman) are trying to hitch-hike their way to the festival, so if you see them, please offer them a lift, after all, they are 'mostly harmless'.

Most people will know that the number 42 is the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The question was posed by a race of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings who built the supercomputer - Deep Thought to compute the Ultimate Answer. After a period of 7.5 million years Deep Thought, revealed the answer to be 42. But the hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings had never actually stated what the question was, which, Arthur later revealed to be 'What do you get when you multiply 6 by 9'.

Finally, whilst you are waiting for the beer festival to open, don't panic and have a nice cup of strong Brownian motion (Tea).

About the festival

The Cambridge Beer Festival was first held in 1974. This festival 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 the largest regional beer festival 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. The festival is also famous for its 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 Milton Brewery in Waterbeach, Lord Conrad's Brewery in Dry Drayton, Fellows Brewery in Cottenham, BlackBar Brewery in Harston, Cambridge Brewing Company in King Street, Cambridge and Crafty Beers in Great Wilbraham. Whilst Moonshine Brewery in Fulbourn will again be having their own brewery bar.

Returning for their second visit to the Cambridge Beer Festival, will be Calverley's Brewery, from Hooper Street in Cambridge and from slightly further afield, we would like to welcome the Three Blind Mice Brewery in Little Downham, Ely, who started brewing in January.

This year's drinks selection

This year the dedicated beer selection team have spread their 'beer net' to the London area, with a range of beers from some of London's newer Breweries. We hope that you will enjoy these ales.

The beer selection team are pleased to announce the return of the "Stout Of The Day" with a five stouts from Binghams Brewery. Moonshine Brewery are brewing a special beer to mark each of the thirteen New Moons in 2015. They are planning to have all 5 of their 'New Moon' beers which will have brewed by the time of the festival, so there are plans to have a "Moon Of The Day" (titter ye not). The team at Bexar County Brewery from Peterborough are planning to offer a beer brewed with Chillies and finished with Dry Chillies!

Gluten-free Beers

We will have a wider selection of gluten-free beers yet again - more and more breweries are making these now. From the St. Peter's brewery we will have their G-free, Hop Back brewery are sending their Crop Circle whilst from Wold Top we will have Against the Grain. Those beers are all made using gluten free ingredients. Poppyland and Stringers breweries both treat their beer with enzymes to remove the gluten - it has no perceptible effect on the flavour, but reduces the gluten to practically zero. Poppyland are sending us Freshes Creek and Poppyland Harvest, and from Stringers we are having The North Will Rise Again.

Opening Times and Admission

Details of the opening times and admission are available here.

The festival supports and operates the Challenge21 scheme; if you are lucky enough to look young enough, then please don't be offended if and when you are asked for ID. 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.

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 of the 2013 festival, we would just like to thank all those that helped "pitch in" when we had to ask for extra help, we hoped you enjoyed yourself and will be back again this year.
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.