Festival survival guide

Please note that the information on this page does not relate to the current festival.

How to get the most from your visit to the Cambridge Beer Festival.

Card payments

We’ve been trialling payment by credit card at the festival. You’re welcome to pay by contactless or chip and pin at the entrance or at the bar. We’re still testing the system, so do bear with us if it doesn’t all go to plan!

If you need to visit a cash machine, we have a pass-out scheme at the front entrance. A map of local cash machines is available, or our volunteers will be able to help you locate an ATM. In addition, some of the stalls inside the marquee take card payments and may offer cashback with a purchase.

First aid

Should you need first aid assistance, please ask a member of the stewarding team (distinguished by their bright yellow clothing) or any other volunteer for assistance from our qualified first-aiders.


At the entrance, please have your money ready and remember to collect your free programme.

Queues sometimes form at the entrance – our stewarding team will manage these and a display board will show which queue you should join.


To help you choose and locate your drink, we provide a festival programme that includes the beer, mead and wine lists. There’s also a variety of interesting articles on the festival itself, and the different styles of British and international beer, as well as updates on CAMRA’s current campaigns.

If you have finished with your programme, please leave it at the entrance foyer on your way out.

If you need a large print version of the beer list, please ask at the bar.


We have tried to keep this web site mobile device friendly and the majority of our lists will be updated as the festival progresses. Our beer list is also available in an app for Android, and the iOS app includes the beer, cider and wine lists. The apps will update throughout the festival as beers come and go.

Our thanks go to the volunteer developers who have created and maintain these apps.


After leaving the entrance, follow the walkway to the food marquee, where you can purchase your souvenir festival glass. Glasses are oversized and lined at the third, half and pint measures. This is to ensure you receive a full measure – something CAMRA campaigns for.

If you don’t want to keep your glass at the end of the session, you can return it to the glasses stall for a refund. However, we’d prefer if you took it home – why not start your Cambridge Beer Festival glass collection?

Need to rinse your glass? There are glass washing devices near the international beer bar and the brewery bars. Or, swap it for a clean one at the glasses stand. NB if you take your glass home, hand-wash it rather than using a dishwasher, to keep it looking great.

But please remember: no glass, no drink; no glass, no refund.

Broken glass

If you break your glass, please:

  1. Do not try to pick up the broken glass
  2. Do stand still over the broken glass
  3. Ask someone to contact a member of the stewarding team (distinguished by their bright yellow clothing) or any other volunteer for assistance
  4. Wait for one of our volunteers to come and safely clear the broken glass.

Getting your drink

All the bars are in the main marquee. On the left are the brewery bars. In front of you on the main bars, beers are arranged in alphabetical order by brewery. On the right are the cider, mead, wine and international beer bars.

The drinks listed in programme are those we’ve ordered from the brewers, but we can’t guarantee they’ll all be available all the time. Some drinks may be available that aren’t listed. All the drinks that are available will have a sign displayed on the end of the cask or on the stillaging next to a tap.

Help us to help you

Here are a few tips to help both you and our volunteers have an enjoyable time.

  1. Please select your choice before getting to the bar and have a second choice in case it’s not available
  2. Volunteers will only serve from the bar at which they are working, so check carefully before ordering
  3. Beers will be arranged alphabetically by brewery, from left to right as you look at the bars
  4. Ask for your choice by quantity, brewery name and beer name
    • Do specify the amount you want – does “may I try?” mean you want a sample, third, half or pint?
    • We often have more than one beer or cider available from the same producer
    • There could be two beers or ciders with the same name, but from different producers available on that bar
  5. Please have the correct change, if possible
  6. We’re only human, so please be patient! We try to serve everybody in turn, but when we’re very busy it can be difficult to keep track. Note that drawing attention to yourself by banging glasses on the bar or waving money at the volunteers tends to be counter productive
  7. Enjoy yourselves! If you have any questions, and we are not busy, then please ask. The volunteers like talking about what we’ve got.

Getting something to eat

There are several food outlets at the festival. The famous CAMRA cheese counter is in the food marquee, while other concession stands are outside.