Welcome to Cambridge Beer Festival 2024

Anthony Cox

We’re delighted to return to Jesus Green for another year discovering and celebrating a fantastic selection of beer, cider, perry, mead, wine, and cheese. 

Celebrating 50 years

This is a very special year for us as we celebrate 50 years of the Cambridge Beer Festival. We began in 1974, making us CAMRA’s longest running festival. Over the years we’ve set up stall at a number of different venues, but in 2001 we made Jesus Green our home for the first time. 

Our first festival featured just 21 beers from only 13 different breweries. Some of those breweries, for example Tolly and Hoskins, are no longer brewing and are much missed. But others, like Adnams, Elgoods, and Greene King, are still very much with us and enjoyed today.

You can find beer from Elgoods in our selection this year. Adnams beer is available in a number of pubs in Cambridge, in particular the Castle Inn. Beer from Greene King is widely available, but we particularly recommend trying it in our branch’s pub of the year, the Champion of the Thames on King Street.

The Champion of the Thames is only a few minute’s walk from our festival site, and well worth a visit. It’s a small, two-room pub, with a friendly atmosphere. The ’Champ’ is on CAMRA’s National Inventory as a historic pub interior of regional importance. Both bars are wood-panelled, with Victorian counters, fixed benches, and a part-glazed partition between the rooms. The oarsman after whom the pub is named is commemorated in its etched windows. 

Support our charity

Every year the beer festival supports a charity. This year we’re helping the Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre (CWRC). The CWRC has a 40-year history, and donating will enable them to continue providing a safe space that has assisted many thousands of women across the decades.

Volunteers have more fun

Like all CAMRA beer festivals this event wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who help to organise and run it. I’m so grateful to all those who have steered the festival from its beginnings in 1974 to where we are today.

We’re always looking for more help – not just on the bars, but building and taking down the site, washing glasses, stewarding and all the other things needed to make the festival happen. It can be hard work, but it’s also fun and friendly. 

Can you give us a hand? Even if you can only spend a few hours serving customers at the bar, your time will be greatly appreciated. And you’ll be made really welcome. It’s fun, you’ll make new friends, and get to try the fantastic beer, cider, mead and wine we have in store this year.

Almost anyone can serve customers at the festival. We provide all the training you need on the day. You don’t need to be a CAMRA member. You don’t need extensive knowledge of beer. You just need to be enthusiastic and willing to join in.

If you’d like a chat about what’s involved in volunteering (spoiler alert: it’s really easy!), then speak to any of our current volunteers.

Drink responsibly

However you’re travelling today, do moderate your consumption so you can get home safely. Please don’t drink and drive. Remember the festival is near a residential area, so please leave quietly. It will help us to continue to use this site in future years.

We hope you enjoy this year’s festival. We’ll see you next year, 19–24 May, for Cambridge Beer Festival 2025

Anthony Mobbs, Festival Organiser