Cheers! Preparations under way for new St Albans Beer and Pubs Festival

The St Albans Beer & Pubs Festival will run from September 24 to October 3.

The St Albans Beer & Pubs Festival will run from September 24 to October 3. - Credit: CAMRA

Cheers! Preparations are taking shape for this year's new St Albans Beer and Pubs Festival.

The city's first festival of pubs is just one month away and the milestone is being marked with the launch of a new website and an initial list of featured events.

In place of the traditional St Albans Beer and Cider Festival held at The Alban Arena, organisers from the Campaign for Real Ale have this year adopted a new approach – co-ordinating an extravaganza of pub-based attractions taking place across numerous venues. 

Festival organiser Adrian Saunders said: “Every year for a quarter of a century, the festival has always provided a boost for local venues by bringing beer lovers into the city.

"But after the events of the past 18 months, and the extent to which the trade has suffered, we wanted to make this year’s festival 100 per cent about St Albans’ pubs.  

“This is a festival that everyone is invited to get involved with. We have dozens of events in our 10-day calendar already, but we would love any pub that isn’t already featured to get in touch for a chat about how they can also be part of the fun.”  

Running between September 24 and October 3 – a period which coincides with National Cask Ale Week – dozens of events will take place in St Albans’ hostelries.

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Events already confirmed are: 

  • Beer and cider festivals hosted at The Mermaid, Great Northern, Farmer’s Boy and White Hart Tap. 
  • Two open weekends at the Three Brewers of St Albans brewery. 
  • Talks and tasting sessions by celebrated beer writer Roger Protz at The Robin Hood and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.
  • 'Meet the brewer' sessions with Wells & Co at The Jolly Sailor, with Tring Brewery (venue TBC), and with other breweries still to be announced. 
  • A presentation for those wanting to learn more about cider and perry at The Mermaid. 
  • A special beer-themed dinner menu at Lussmans. 
  • Numerous live music events, including at The Horn, Garibaldi, Blacksmiths Arms, Goat and many others. 
The Horn in St Albans. Picture: Alan Davies

The Horn in St Albans. - Credit: Alan Davies

  • Various other activities across different venues, including quiz nights, pub games and even an invigorating group run, starting and finishing at the Craft and Cleaver.

Further events are still in the process of being arranged, and any venue or organisation that wants to host an event over the 10-day period is encouraged to get in touch.

Organisers are keen for as many St Albans pubs as possible to be involved, and anything that can add to the variety is encouraged. 

Breweries from the region are also getting involved. Tring Brewery, which is kindly sponsoring the festival, is producing a special ale, which will be on sale in some participating St Albans pubs.  

In addition to a 'what’s on' guide, the new website also provides a number of guided trails, enabling locals and visitors alike who want to explore the city’s pubs to do so in manageable chunks on different days.  

Full listings can be viewed at www.stalbansbeerfestival.org.uk 


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