The Official Great British Beer Festival Survival Guide | The Great British Beer Festival
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7th-11th August 2018

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The Official Survival Guide

Beat the queues

Great British Beer Festival tickets are now on sale, with day and season options available, all at cheaper rates than paying on the door.

CAMRA members receive an additional discount on advance tickets. There are also VIP options available. Visit our ticket section for more information and to buy your tickets today.

Opening times

  • 7th August – 12 noon-5 pm (Trade Session)
  • 7th August – 5pm-10:30 pm (Public Session)
  • 8th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 9th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 10th August – 12 noon-10:30 pm
  • 11th August – 11am-7:00 pm

Last Admission: half an hour before close. No pass-outs will be allowed back in after this time.

Ticket prices

Entry Tickets – Advance

  • Single Day (non-member): £11.00
  • Single Day (member): £9.00
  • Season (non-member): £29.00
  • Season (member): £24.00
  • VIP Package: £39

Entry Tickets – On the door

  • Single Day (non-member): £14.00
  • Single Day (member): £11.00

DISCOVER MORE: Why not purchase a VIP Package and bypass the entrance queues? For the advance price of just £39, you get fast-track entry into your session of choice along with a festival guide, souvenir glass, £15 worth of beer tokens, access to an exclusive seating area and an opportunity to ‘meet the brewer’ (NB: available on advanced tickets only).

Getting there

Public transport is the best way to get to the festival – you don’t have to worry about parking or driving!

Olympia is on the London Overground network and is also a stop for some Southern train services (check the train operator websites for information).

The venue is a short walk from stations on the Piccadilly, Hammersmith & City, Circle, District & Central Line stations on the London underground network.


What to do when you arrive

Welcome to the Great British Beer Festival 2018! Before you head off to try some of the 900 real ales, ciders, perries, fine wines and gins available, read up on how to make the most of the festival below. From picking up your beer glass to becoming a beer connoisseur, we have you covered throughout your visit!

Pick up your beer glass

Make sure to grab yourself a festival glass before you explore what’s on offer at the bars. You can choose between a full, half or third pint glass depending on how much you’d like to sample. Glasses are available for a £3 deposit, but feel free to keep your glass as a souvenir of this year’s festival! Don’t forget – you can ask bar staff to give your glass a quick rinse in between tastings.


Drop off your children and sitter (if you have them)

You have to be 18 or older to enjoy a beer at the festival, but children are still welcome to come along as members of the Half Pints Club in the Family Room. Children can find a range of activities on offer in the Family Room including giant modelling, puppet making, face painting, balloon modelling and much more.

The Half Pint Club is run by the Antics! Crew, who ensure that children and their accompanying adults are having fun. Please note this is not a creche facility and all under 18s must be supervised by a family member and remain in the Family Room at all times.


Find yourself a beer (and other amenities) in the hall

Throughout Olympia, you will find so many beers on offer that it may be difficult to know where to start! To make the best use of the halls to try a lot of different types of beers, we suggest starting with a tour of the Grand Hall that you’ve just entered. After picking up your glass, you will find a range of brewery bars in the centre of the hall to visit. Each brewery bar gives you the chance to sample a range of beers from a single brewery and is well worth a visit – particularly as many of the breweries will have beer specially made available for the event.

On your way past the brewery bars, make sure to swing by the CAMRA shop (R2 & R3) where you can pick up one of our latest titles and meet an author or two. The CAMRA Information and Membership stand (R1) is right next door in case you have any questions or are interested in becoming a member (2 free pints for anyone that joins CAMRA onsite!).

Past the brewery bars, you will find a row of street food stalls ready to serve, which is then followed by the American Cask Bar (B8) and the USA & New World Bottle Bar (B9), along with some traditional UK real ales. Also in this area you will find our wine and gin offerings for those looking for a break from beer.

At the far end of the hall you will find the stage where most of the entertainment takes place – why not play a few pub games and listen to the live bands on stage? After making a loop of the Grand Hall, make sure to visit the adjacent hall where you will find the very best German, Czech, Belgian and Dutch beers available, all brewed in their own national styles. Additional seating can be found here, along with more food, cider and perry.

Finally, if you head upstairs this is where you will find the tutored tasting sessions along with the family room and additional seating.


Onsite Festival Guide

This is how you find your favourite beer. We have included a comprehensive list of all the beers available with tasting notes and a handy key to quickly determine beer colour and style. 

If you’re still not sure what to order when you arrive at the bar, feel free to ask the bar staff for a taste before ordering a full measure. We have hundreds of varied real ales to try and our friendly bar staff will be delighted to help you choose the perfect one for you.

All of the Great British Beer Festival bars are staffed by volunteers who give their time freely to work at festivals, so please bear this in mind during the busiest periods at the festival.

Had some great customer service from a volunteer? Why not thank them on Twitter using the hashtag #thankavolunteer.


Try more beer!

If you like what you’ve tried already, why not take part in a Tutored Tasting? Tasting sessions are the perfect way to get that little extra out of the Great British Beer Festival.


Check out what else is going on

Once you have found a great beer, you may be looking for somewhere comfortable to sit down. We’ve arranged as much seating as possible around the festival and there is more seating available upstairs on the Grand Hall Gallery.


If you’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet, why not check out the number of activities happening at the festival?


  • Games – test your luck and your skills on one of the many games located at the back of the Grand Hall (J8). This year, we have several versions of skittles, shut the box and shuffleboard to challenge you.
  • Tombola – visit the tombola stand for your chance to win one of thousands of prizes!
  • Pub Quiz – put your knowledge to the test at our Pub Quiz for prizes, taking place on the stage. A maximum of four in a team can win a number of prizes.
  • Meet the authors – You can meet some of the world’s leading beer writers at the CAMRA shop, located at R3. Pick up a specially discounted copy of CAMRA’s latest book and get it signed on the spot by the authors.



Don your hat

If you’re attending the festival on Thursday 9th August make sure to wear your silliest and craziest drinking hat for GBBF Hat Day. Forgot to bring one? Take a snap of your favourite hat on the day and post to social media using #GBBF to nominate your favourite of the day.


Stay Hydrated

As the festival can get quite busy and takes place during the height of summer, it’s important to stay hydrated. If you need a complimentary glass of water at any time just ask the bar staff who will be happy to help.


Most importantly, have fun!

The Great British Beer Festival is bursting with energy and entertainment. Each year, more than 50,000 people travel to London from around the world to take part in Britain’s biggest beer festival. This year, we are celebrating 41 years of great beer, great food and great entertainment. We hope you enjoy your time here!


Need help?

If you need help at any point during the festival, please locate one of the Festival Stewards who can be identified by their orange shirt marked as “Steward”.

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