The Official Survival Guide
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.
What to do when you arrive
Welcome to the Great British Beer Festival 2017! Before you head off to try some of the 900 real ales, ciders, perries and fine English wines 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 however that 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, start with a circular tour of the Grand Hall that you’ve just entered. After picking up your glass, you will find a range of brewery bars 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 past the CAMRA shop (R2 & R3) where you can pick up one of our latest titles and meet an author. The CAMRA Information and Membership stand (R1) is right next door in case you have any questions or would like to become a member. Additional seating is available exclusively for members in the Members’ Lounge, located in the London Room.
Past the brewery bars, you will find a row of street food stalls available to sample, 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 is our wine offering, where you can sample some of the finest English Wines (S19).
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. Informal tastings will also be happening in the Beer Hawk seating area (L1).
Finally, head upstairs if you have bought the enhanced ticket experience, tutored tastings or simply wish to visit the family room or find additional seats.
Choose your favourite beer
You can use this guide to find your favourite beer by turning to pages 22-45. Here, we have included a comprehensive list of all the beers available with tasting notes and a handy key to quickly determine beer colour and beer style at the top. Not sure what style you prefer? Check out page 19 for our guide on different styles.
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. Find out more about the sessions on offer on Page 8.
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 or more of the games, located at the back of the Grand Hall (J8). This year, we have several versions of skittles, shut the box, shuffleboard and many more. You can play up to six games for only £6.
- Tombola – visit the tombola stand for your chance to win one of thousands of prizes! You can buy five tickets for just £2.50.
- Pub Quiz – put your knowledge to the test at our Pub Quiz, taking place from at 2:45 pm on the stage. A team of four 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. Read more on page 9.
Don your hat
If you’re attending the festival on Thursday 10th August make sure to wear your silliest and craziest drinking hat for Hat Day. Forgot your own? Take a snap of your favourite hat on the day using #GBBF on Twitter.
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 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 40 years of great beer, great food and great entertainment. We hope you enjoy your time here!
If you need help at any point during the festival, please locate on of the festival Stewards who can be identified by their orange shirt marked as “Steward”.