The Official Great British Beer Festival Survival Guide
Best of British
Come and experience the best of British real ale, cider and perry this summer at the Great British Beer Festival. Returning to the atmospheric Olympia, London (8-12 August), make the most of the fun with our survival guide to the festival.
Raise the bar
More than 350 breweries are represented on the CAMRA bars around the festival, including those in the Champion Beer of Britain competition.
This year, 2 real cider and perry bars will be offering refreshments bursting with the fresh fruit flavours of apples and pears. We also host special bars for some of the best-known names in British brewing, many featuring rare and one-off beers exclusively to festival-goers.
For the first time, we will be hosting 1 wine bar to sell locally produced English wine as well as 1 fruit cider bar.
Beat the queues
GBBF 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 all advance tickets. There are also VIP tickets available. Visit our ticket section for more information and to buy your tickets today.
- 8th August – 12 noon-5pm (Trade Session)
- 8th August – 5pm-10:30pm (Public Session)
- 9th August – 12 noon-10:30pm
- 10th August – 12 noon-10:30pm
- 11th August – 12 noon-10:30pm
- 12th August – 11am-7:00pm
- Last Admission: half hour before close
Entry Tickets – Advance
- Single Day (non) £ 11.00
- Single Day (member) £ 9.00
- Season (non) £ 29.00
- Season (member) £ 24.00
- Group Offer (non) £ 11.00
- Group Offer (member) £ 9.00
Entry Tickets – On the door
- Single Day (non) £ 14.00
DISCOVER MORE: Why not get an enhanced experience package and get to the bar quicker? For the advance price of just £40 you get fast-track entry to the festival including a guide, souvenir glass, £20 worth of beer tokens, access to an exclusive seating area and an opportunity to ‘meet the brewer’ (NB: available on advanced tickets only).
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 underground network.
Guide and glasses
Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir Festival Guide – they are only £2! Your guide will include some of the most important information for your visit – beer lists and tasting notes, all of the cider, perry and wines on offer, a map of the venue, which stalls to visit, where to find food and a lot of other information.
The other thing you will want to pick up is your souvenir glass. This year Pipers crisps is sponsoring the glass – pint, half-pint and third-pints are available from the stand opposite the entrance.
Keep up-to-date before, during and after the Great British Beer Festival online and with social media. This website is a great source of information on the festival, so keep checking back for the latest news about the acts playing, offers and competitions.
If you’re on Twitter make sure you’re following @gbbf and @camra_official for updates. If you’re tweeting about the festival, you can use the #GBBF or #GBBF2017 twitter handles.
Facebook users can find us by searching for the “Great British Beer Festival” and then getting involved with other visitors to the festival.
Also, many of our bars will be taking advantage of Twitter to let you know about their festival activities so look out for their addresses on the bar banners around Olympia.
Champion Beer of Britain
The CAMRA Champion Beer of Britain is one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world. It is judged and announced at the start of the Great British Beer Festival on Tuesday 8th August.
To be considered a Champion Beer of Britain is a huge honour to UK brewers and has been instrumental in securing national recognition for smaller breweries. Aside from the Champion Beer of Britain, there will also be individual winners for each category, depending on their style and strength. Winners will not be announced until doors open on trade day, but you can expect to hear the results at 3pm on the stage.
All of the finalist beers will be identified at the festival by a pump clip crowners that will be dotted around the CAMRA bars.
Explore new tastes
Going to the Great British Beer Festival is a great chance to expand your knowledge and explore new taste experiences. Expert-led Tutored Tastings are a good way to do this – even if you consider yourself something of an aficionado. All of the tasting sessions are hosted by beer experts such as world-renowned beer writer Roger Protz, and are designed to give new perspective on real ales, ciders and perries and how you enjoy them. The full programme of Tutored Tastings is availabile now!
Grab the chance to meet some CAMRA authors and get signed copies of their books, at special Great British Beer Festival prices.
Jeff Evans, author of CAMRA’s Beer Knowledge will be available on the CAMRA shop for signings at 5pm on Tuesday 8th August, while Tim Hampson, author of 101 Beer Days Out will be available on Wednesday at the same time.
Bob Steel, author of CAMRA’s pub walk series will be available from 7pm on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th, and Dan Nielsen, author of our latest book Wild Pub Walks will be available for signings on Friday 11th at 5.30 and 7:30pm.
Food for thought
Olympia London is a large venue so you are bound to work up an appetite as you head from bar to bar. We have completely revamped our food offering this year, with some exciting new food stands from across London. More information to follow in the coming months.
Details on all the stalls, including food stands (and some recommended beer matches for the cuisine of your choice), can also be found in your souvenir Festival Guide.
Remember, the Great British Beer Festival serves more than 50,000 visitors nearly quarter of a million pints of beer and all of this is done by hundreds of volunteers.
So before you go make sure to take the time to thank a volunteer, it could be face-to-face, using the festival’s survey form (found at the back of your souvenir Festival Guide) or on social media.
We look forward to seeing you at Olympia London for the Great British Beer Festival 2017.
If you need more information, keep checking this website and @CAMRA_Official for updates.