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7th-11th August 2018

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History of The Great British Beer Festival

2018 marks the 41st anniversary of the Great British Beer Festival. The first large beer festival run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) was held in Covent Garden in London in September 1975. It was a four-day event that attracted 40,000 people who drank 150,000 pints of real ale.

It was soon followed by the first “proper” Great British Beer Festival, which was held in 1977 at Alexandra Palace. The venue for the Great British Beer Festival has moved between cities since it was first established but has been settled in London since 1991. The only year in which a festival was not held was 1984, due to a fire at the venue.


  • 1977-80 Alexandra Palace, London
  • 1981-82 Queens Hall, Leeds
  • 1983 Bingley Hall, Birmingham
  • 1985-87 Metropole, Brighton
  • 1988-89 Queens Hall, Leeds
  • 1990 Metropole, Brighton
  • 1991 Docklands Arena, London
  • 1992-2005 Olympia, London
  • 2006-2011 Earls Court, London
  • 2012-2018 Olympia, London


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