Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Merseyside Beer Festival Roundup Autumn 2014

Tis the season to be jolly! No, Christmas hasn’t come early (or “non-denomination multi ethnic winter solstice related festivities” as I like to call it), but Autumn IS the start of beer festival season. For the next 9 weeks, there will be more beer festivals than at any other time of year, ranging in size from just over twenty beers on offer, to those with hundreds. In fact there is at least one festival every week from now up until December.

Please find a conveniant list of all festivals below. All should be reachable on a Mersey travel All-Zones Save-away ticket, however buses in Cheshire usually cost more. Sadly I am fallible so if I’ve missed one, please let me know and I will update this blog.:

Oct 9th - 11th Southport Beer Festival, St John Ambulance Hall, Wright Street
Oct 10th - 12th National Waterways Museum Beer Festival, ellesmere Port  - Twitter / Facebook
Oct 16th - 18th Ales from the Crypt Liverpool - Twitter
Oct 17th - 19th  West Kirby Oktoberfest - Twitter / Facebook
Oct 24th - 26th ROLFEST (republic of liverpool beer festival) - Blundellsands, Liverpool - Twitter
Oct 31st - Nov 2nd  A Trip to the Moon, Prenton Park, Tranmere - Twitter
Nov 6th - 8th     Rainhill Beer fesitival 
Twitter / Facebook
Nov 7th - 9th Oldershaw Rugby Club (nr Wallasey) 
Nov 13th - 16th Port Sunlight Beer Festival  Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight - Twitter
Nov 14th - 16th Cheshire Beer Festival Chester, Roodee Race course, Chester - Twitter
Nov 20th - 23rd Waterloo Beer Festival, Old Christ Church, Waterloo
Nov 28th - 30th Birkenhead Beer Festival (St Werburgh's) - Facebook

But what should you expect from a local beer festival? 

You’ll find a range of well-known familiar labels alongside locally brewed beers as well as that from further afield microbreweries. You’ll find a broad mix of styles though usually this is slightly biased towards the more popular pale/golden beers, but you should still find a good mix.You’ll almost certainly find some local entertainment whether to your taste or volume preference. Also they’ll probably be some local food available. A good survival tip is to re-line your stomach from time to time, though maybe avoid the chilli sausage if you don’t want any hidden surprises.

If you don’t drink ale, or have never tried it, talk to the servers who are usually an eclectic range of beer enthusiasts and CAMRA types (and partners of who mistakenly let slip that they were “free”). Collectively they’ll have already tried the beers and will know which ones are tasting well. Don’t be embarrassed; just tell them what you like. The more they know, the better that they can advise and If in doubt, ask them what they are drinking, though be wary about taking advise from a beer ticker drinking alone as they’ve been known to “accidentally recommend” sour fruit beer just to see your reaction.

Expect to have to swap money for tokens. Most beer festivals prefer to use this as it’s quicker and less messy. Don’t buy too many, or if you’re looking for a tax break, consider putting this year’s bonus into beer festival tokens and donate what’s left to charity (I would strongly suggest discussing with this your accountant or spouse before doing this).

Treat your festival magazine like you would your children (providing that you actually like them that is). It’s your biggest weapon to tackle the overwhelming choice and the one thing that can help you work out what happened in the fuzzy period between leaving the festival and waking up on your couch cuddling a kebab.

Finally don’t forget your glass and treat each one you collect like a badge of honor. Ignore the fact that by your tenth beer festival they’ll be choking your cupboard there is something special about your first one and you will miss it when it’s gone.

Hopefully by now you’ll be eager to get out there and taste some fabulous ales, so get out there, try some new beers and share your experiences. For all you know this could start a love affair that will last a lifetime and at the very least you could wake up with..... well don't say I didn't warned you about those chilli sausages....

Please note that while I reasonably attempt to keep this updated, I accept that the information above may change at any time. If you find something out of date, please let me know by emailing me


  1. Updated to include Ellesmere Port's National Waterways Museum beer festival

  2. Updated to highlight the list of beer festivals after comments made it clear that this was not immediately apparent. Also slightly reworked the ending

  3. Updated to include the oldershaw rugby club beer festival