Never Too Early To Be Thinking About 2018

Last weekend the 2017 beer festival season drew to a close at the 34th Pig’s Ear event in Hackney. Even though everyone’s attention is now focused on imminent Christmas and impending New Year I can’t help thinking that it is never too early to start planning ahead to 2018. Without further ado, here are Mr Fueled by Beer’s recommended winter ale festivals during the months of January and February…

Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer are rather partial to winter ale fests; particularly the smaller CAMRA branch events, most of which are small affairs in obscure places. These festivals come loaded with wondrous dark winter warmers; you know, those once a year special stouts and porters; or those lovely high strength Old Ales coming in at 6% ABV or higher. These are the perfect slow sipping beers made for sitting by a roaring log fire in a country pub while Ol’ Man Winter does his worst outside.

Before I present the list, however, a few words about some winter festivals that are conspicuous by their absence. While they may involve a local CAMRA branch, these are what I call the “Beerex” format festivals. I’ll come right out and say that I don’t like these events. They feature separate afternoon and evening sessions, usually require advance ticket purchases, and their ticket prices—even for CAMRA members—seem to be grossly inflated compared to the events featured here. The events I have listed have free or reduced admission for CAMRA members at all sessions. In case you’re wondering: Salisbury, Dorchester, Horsham and Gosport, all January or February events, use the “Beerex” format, and are hence excluded from consideration. Click on a poster to view in separate window.

22nd Cambridge Winter Ale Festival

22nd Cambridge Winter Ale Festival

Exeter Festival of Winter Ales

Exeter Festival of Winter Ales

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival

9th Elysian Winter Beer Festival

9th Elysian Winter Beer Festival

25th White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales

25th White Cliffs Festival of Winter Ales

Chelmsford Winter Beer & Cider Festival

Chelmsford Winter Beer & Cider Festival

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