There’s more to the GBBF than the bars!

CAMRA’s flagship event, the Great British Beer Festival, returns to the London Olympia (W14 8UX) from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 August. Founded in 1977 and staffed by volunteers, it features hundreds of UK beers, international beers and real ciders and perries (plus gin!) under the iconic Victorian roof.
This year sees the return of CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain competition, not held since 2019 because of the pandemic. It will be the first one using CAMRA’s updated style categories. The winners will be announced on Tuesday afternoon, during the trade and press session.

As well the various drinks, there will also be a wide range of food on offer, plus craft stands, pub games and the infamous tombola. A variety of tutored tastings will be available each day.
I could be yours!

This starts with Roger Protz’s tasting of six of the 2023 Champion Beer of Britain winners. And, if you want to know how the beers got there, on Wednesday there is an Introduction to Beer Judging session that will explain all, plus Mark Dredge’s talk on Thursday which is aimed at improving your tasting skills.

If you are into beer with food, then Annabel Smith’s two sessions are for you: one with cheese and the other with charcuterie. And what about whisky? Thanks to support from the Queen’s Head in St Pancras (WC1X 9NB), a unique sampling of four malts and four beers will by talked through by World Whisky and International Beer Judge, Christine Cryne.

Opening hours are as follow:
Tuesday 1 August: midday to 5pm (Trade Session) and 5pm to 10.30 (Public Session);
Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 August: midday to 10.30;
Saturday 5 August: midday to 7pm.
Last Admission is half an hour before close.
Payment at the bars will be by contactless payment card or tokens. Cash will not be accepted. If you prefer to use cash then there are sales points where you can buy tokens with cash for use at the bars.
For full details of the festival and to book tickets, including for the tastings, go to
Christine Cryne