St Albans Beer & Cider Festival 2016

28th September – 1st October, Alban Arena, St Albans, AL1 3LD

The premier event in the Hertfordshire drinkers calendar will be back in town in from 28th September to 1st October 2016. Information on the 2016 festival can be found by subscribing to our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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Beer festival poster

Beer of the Festival 2016

A selection of local Hertfordshire beers and champion winning beers from around the country took part in this year's St Albans Beer of the Festival 2016 competition, with Fyne Ales Jarl coming out top!

Festival Organiser, Phil Defriez, said: "It's great to have what we call our 'champion of champion' beers competition where we judge award winning beers from around the country plus a selection of beers from local breweries."

1. Fyne Ales Jarl 3.8%
2. Greene King XX Mild 3.0%
3. Oakham Ales Green Devil IPA 6.0%

Hertfordshire Beer of the Year 2016

A record number of breweries took part in this year's competition. The tasting panel judged 17 different beers ranging from hoppy pale ales through to rich porters.

The judging panel was made up of members of Hertfordshire branches who collectively awarded Pope's Yard Club Hammer Stout the overall winner, with beers from Tring, The 3 Brewers of St Albans and Red Squirrel coming close runners up.

1. Pope's Yard Club Hammer Stout 5.5%
2. Tring Pale Four 4.6%
3. The 3 Brewers of St Albans IPA 4.6%
4. Red Squirrel London Porter 5.0%

Opening Times & Admission Prices

Wednesday 28th September - Friday 30th September 11.00am - 11.00pm
£3.00 (CAMRA members free)

Saturday 1st October 11.00am - 11.00pm
£5.00 (CAMRA members free)

Entry to CAMRA members is free at all times

Please note no advance tickets for any session and that Alban Arena policy stipulates that no one under the age of 18 can be allowed in the bar areas at any time or anywhere on the premises after 5.00pm.

Coming in a group of 10 or more? Check out our packages for Corporate & Organised Parties.

Roman figure holding beer


This year we’ve introduced Beer Tokens to help you get served quicker at the bar.

The token cards, sponsored by Oakham Ales, are available for purchase on entry at the glasses stand for £12.00 plus a refundable glass (£3.00). Additional £10.00 cards can be purchased at the token stands in the main hall or in the basement by the Stairwell and Foreign Beer bars. If you have partially-expended cards at the end of your session you can take them home and bring them to another session at the 2016 Festival. Alternatively, donate them to CAMRA, put them in the Charity box or obtain a refund from any of the token stands.

Beer festival loor-plan
Download Floor Plan

Book Signings

Meet and chat with Heritage Pubs author Geoff Brandwood 29-30th September 11.00am - 7.00pm and and Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz 7.00pm - 9.00pm on 1st October signing copies of their books at the Products & Membership stand at the Festival.

Architectural historian Geoff Brandwood is passionate about pubs, and is a former chairman of the Victorian Society. His other books include London Heritage Pubs (CAMRA, 2008) and, as a co-author, Licensed to Sell, the History and Heritage of the Public House (English Heritage, 2004, new ed 2011). Geoff is a passionate advocate for the need to recognise, value and preserve our pub heritage, as you'll discover if you come along to meet him.

Roger Protz is one of the world's leading beer writers, historians, lecturers and tasters. He is the author of more than 20 books on the subject, including 300 Beers to Try Before You Die, one of the biggest-selling books on the subject. Other books include The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Beer, the World Guide to Beer and 300 More Beers to Try Before You Die. He has edited more than 20 editions of the annual CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Roger Protz Good Beer Guide 2017 Geoff Brandwood Britain's Best Real Heritage Pubs

Fabulous Festival Food

Back by popular demand, Yuleys Bratwurst will be tempting you with their 20" Bratwurst served with onions and sauerkraut, as well as exotic burgers such as Springbok, Ostrich, Kangaroo or Wild Boar with Stilton and Spring Onion on the patio. New to the Festival this year Yuleys will also have their pizza oven.

The Crusty Pie Company will be offering hot and cold pies to suit every taste.

India Gate will be offering a wide range of tasty and authentic Indian foods including curries, samosas and wraps with vegetarian options in the main auditorium.

In the festival foyer Henley's Sweets and Pipers Crisps will be offering a large range of enticing treats and snacks to enjoy.

Live Music

Thursday evening - The Zipheads

Saturday lunchtime - Bagatelle String Quartet

Saturday evening - Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band

Two Roman figures dancing with beer

Staffing Volunteers

The success of the St Albans Beer & Cider Festival is reliant on a committed team of volunteers.

There are a wide range of duties such as setting up, serving at the bars, selling beer tokens, maintaining the quality of the beer, where your skills and talent could prove invaluable. In return for your commitment you will receive complementary beer and food and moreover become part of a great team!

This year we'll also be offering all staff, who work at least two sessions, a free exclusive St Albans Beer & Cider Festival 2016 Staff T-Shirt donated by Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and Farr Brew.

To guarantee your shirt size you'll need to sign up ASAP and select your size.

What's more, wear the shirt after the Festival to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, St Albans, and whilst wearing the shirt you'll be charged no more than £3.00 for your pint of Farr Brew Black Listed IBA cask ale right up to and including 31/12/2016.*

* Terms and conditions apply; This offer is subject to availability, if Farr Brew Black Listed IBA is not available another Farr Brew cask ale or alternative at the discretion of the management of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks may be offered.

Roman figure sitting on a barrel holding beer

Location & Travel

The Festival is situated in the Alban Arena, just off St Peters Street in the heart of the City. Go here for a map to find the Alban Arena and travel information.

St Albans is easily reached on the Thameslink Railway and there are plenty of local buses for those travelling cross county or from the railway station to the Arena itself. London Midland services also run frequently 7 days a week between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction.


You're bound to want to stay more than a few of hours at the Beer Festival so why not chose to stay a few days instead? There are many different types of accommodation available to suit all pockets.

A list of the type of accommodation available can be found at and of course it's always worth checking out the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for pubs in and around the city that provide bed and breakfast.


22nd August 2016: Press Release: Attention Forward Planner

Enquires: John Bishop 07720 295419


For all other information requests please e-mail us. Please note we may not be able to respond to requests for information during the week of the festival.

Future Festival Dates

27th to 30th September 2017

26th to 29th September 2018

25th to 28th September 2019