Great British Beer Festival | London Events

Britain’s biggest beer festival

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The Great British Beer Festival

The Great British Beer Festival (GBBF in short) is an annual beer festival organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).  Breweries from around the country showcase their best and newest beers at this festival.  At the Bières Sans Frontières (BSF) bars, the best beers from around the world are showcased, including Belgian beers, Dutch beers, German and Czech beers, beers from the USA and many others.

Visitors to the festival can sample hundreds of real ales, ciders and beers from around the world. It is is usually held during the first full week in August, running from Tuesday to Saturday and since 2006 this event has been held at London’s Earls Court.

Experience GBBF as a Volunteer

This beer festival is completely staffed by unpaid volunteers – all up around 1,000 volunteers work at the festival. So if you’re spending time in London and want to experience working at a beer festival and meeting literally thousands of people who love beer, you can sign up at the gbbf.camra.org.uk website. The work is tough but there are lots of benefits flowing from your volunteer work including:

  • staff party on Saturday night
  • CAMRA puts you up in London for free (in halls of residence), or they can subsidise your hotel accomodation, or provide subsidised taxis for London staff needing to get home at the end of each evening
  • free staff bar in the Volunteer Arms, as well as subsidised food in the staff canteen

Beer, Beer and more Beer

At least 450 beers are available throughout the festival, including golden ales, fruit beers, stouts, bitters and some international real lagers. As well as beer, there is also cider and perry, all available in pint, half pint and third pint measures.

Apart from discovering the range of beers and which ones suit your palate, there’s plenty to occupy you at the festival – you can enjoy live music, sample some food, including good traditional pub snacks and play on some traditional pub games.

If you are a beer lover and plan on attending the Great British Beer Festival, you may wish to attend one of the tutored tastings and learn to taste beer like the experts! Led by beer experts, you will be guided at these tutored tastings through taste, look, style, history and other interesting information about the beers that you try. These tutored tastings usually sell out in advance so it’s wise to book early to avoid disappointment.

Travel guide to the festival

By tube
Earls Court Station on the Piccadilly Line and District Lines (for Earls Court One use the Warwick Road exit)

By train
West Brompton for Earls Court (Mainline trains)

By coach
With over 1,000 departure points across the UK, National Express offer round the clock services to the heart of London via London Victoria Coach Station giving easy, affordable access to Earls Court.

By bus
Earls Court One (Warwick Road) is served by 74, 328, C1, C3


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