UK beer festivals that are a great alternative to Oktoberfest

Date Posted: 27/07/2017

Want to go to Oktoberfest in Munich but can’t make it to Germany this year? Here is a selection of UK-based 2017 beer festivals that stand in as easy-access alternatives so your group doesn’t have to miss out.

Each of these festivals take place annually, so if you can’t make any this year, you’ve got plenty of time to plan ahead to 2018.

London Bierfest, 19th-20th October

Each autumn, Old Billingsgate Market in London is transformed into a traditional Oktoberfest, buzzing with live music, dancing and a host of other entertainment. Tables can be reserved for groups of up to ten people and packages can include unlimited steins of Bitburger beer, platters of traditional German fare, full table service and a programme of live performances including Oompah bands and roaming acts.

Oktoberfest Leeds, 6th-8th and 13th-15th October

This year’s Oktoberfest Leeds promises a dual weekender of beer, food and entertainment. The annual event doubles this year with two weekends instead of one, both of which will take place in new venue, Leeds South Bank Depot. Over 12,000 fans are expected over both weekends, and groups can join in to celebrate all things Bavarian, from the alcohol to the entertainment.

Leeds Oktoberfest

Pictured: Leeds Oktoberfest.

Bedford Beer & Cider Festival, 4th-7th October

The annual Bedford Beer & Cider Festival, taking place at Bedford Corn Exchange, will celebrate its 40th year this October. Approximately 160 real ales will be arranged alphabetically on two back-to-back bars, including beers from local breweries. International beers on offer will comprise a range of draught and bottled foreign beers from Belgium, Germany and other countries, including breweries in Bamberg, Bedford’s twin city in Bavaria. There will be around 50 different ciders, too.

Nether Abbey Beer Festival, 3rd-5th November

This Scottish beer festival will run at the Nether Abbey Hotel in Berwick and is free for groups to enter. A wide selection of specially chosen ales will be available to sample from all over the UK but with a strong emphasis on Scottish beverages. Visitors can try the likes of Chocolate Marble from Manchester (a chocolate flavoured beer) and a number of America pale ales. Live music and food will be available on all three days.

Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival, 19th-21st October

The 2017 Maidenhead Beer & Cider Festival will take place at a new venue, the Magnet Leisure Centre in Holmanleaze. There will be over 140 real ales, ciders and perries on offer, and a ticket to the festival includes a commemorative glass, a programme and two pints worth of vouchers. Breweries from across the UK will be represented at the festival, and visitors can enjoy a full programme of live music, ranging from folk rock to country and western.

Drinking in Bavaria

Pictured: A group drinking in Bavaria.

More about Oktoberfest

Attracting more than six million visitors every year, Oktoberfest in Munich reigns above many other beer festivals in popularity and diversity of both beer and food.

Only beer brewed within the city limits of Munich can be served at Oktoberfest; visitors should have their glasses at the ready for products from breweries including Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu and Löwenbräu. There are 14 tents to choose from selling both beer and food, including The Wildstuben that sells venison dishes, and Augustiner, selling beer from Munich’s oldest brewery.

Oktoberfest is free to enter. Don’t miss the main highlight of the events, the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade, which takes place every year on the first Sunday.

Groups wanting to make a visit this year can do so between 16th September and 3rd October, when the festival will be open to all. 2018 dates will be revealed at the close of this year’s event.

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