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Everything You Need to Know About… Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival

Beer lovers, assemble! The city’s biggest and best beer and cider fest is returning and we’ve got all the info you need to know to make the most of it.

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Whether you’re a beer aficionado or just a casual brew fan, you’ve probably heard of Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival – the city’s biggest and best celebration of all things craft brewed.

As the festival prepares to return this April, we found out all the details you need to know to make the most of this fantastic annual event.

What is the Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival?

It’s an annual gathering of beer and cider fans hosted by the Tyneside and Northumberland branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) that celebrates the UK’s craft brew scene by bringing together a smorgasbord of brews for attendees to try.

This year is the 46th edition of the festival and is set to be an extra-special celebration of all things beer and cider as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of Campaign for Real Ale in Tyneside and Northumberland’s founding in 1974.

When and where is it happening?

The festival takes place from Wednesday 10th April to Saturday 13th April on the first floor of Northumbria University Students’ Union. Doors open at 6pm on Wednesday and 12pm every other day of the festival. The festival closes at 11pm Wednesday to Friday and at 7pm on Saturday with last orders called 45 minutes before close.

How much are tickets?

Tickets cost £19 which includes four beer tokens and a souvenir glass that can be refunded for £2 if returned in good condition. If you’re a CAMRA member, you can get a £3 discount on admission too. To book tickets, visit the Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival website.

How do the tokens work?

Each token will get you one half of ale or cider and additional tokens are available to purchase at the festival for £2.25 a pop.

What kind of beer and cider will be available?

There’ll be around 100 beers and 50 ciders on tap, ranging from microbrewery ales to brews from big, well-known names.

Among the highlights are Edinburgh’s Camper Van Brewery, Cumbrian crafters Hawkshead Brewing (who’ll be showcasing their Damson Saison for the first time for National Damson Day) and Tiny Rebel Brewery from Newport, Wales who will be presenting a range of chocolate beers.

The festival is going global this year too with the first UK pour of Sun Squishy IPA - a citrusy craft brew made by Suncreek Brewery in Florida – and will feature a spirits bar for the first time on Friday and Saturday offering a selection of gin, rum and whisky.

Will there be any food?

Snack and food stalls will be on hand to keep attendees fed in between drinks, including local vendor The Yolker who are renowned for their delicious, gourmet Scotch eggs.

What else is happening?

Lots! There’s extra fun to be had with traditional pub games like Shut the Box, Table Skittles, Crown Top Shives, and Ring the Pump and Thursday 14th April is a hat-themed day with guests encouraged to wear their daftest hat. For the hatless, local charity St Oswald’s Hospice will be running a stall selling unique headwear so nobody has to feel left out (and you get to support their amazing work in the process!).

There’ll be live music throughout the festival too, kicking off on Thursday with performances from The Byker Hillbillies and Rob Heron of Teapad Orchestra fame. Friday’s line-up will see The Steamboat Players, Ash Humble from Blistered Molly and The Covers Club Acoustic Duo provide the soundtrack with more entertainment from the Monkseaton Morris Dancers who will be performing rapper sword dances. Finally, on Saturday, singer-guitarist Jonny Pollard will set the stage for headliner We Are Champion, the North East’s premier Queen tribute band.

With all that beer and cider waiting to be sampled, plus four whole days of hop-fuelled fun and live music, Newcastle Beer & Cider Festival is a must-do for both brew fans and the beer-curious. To find out more and to book tickets, visit the festival website.

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