Q. When is this year’s Guildford Beer Festival?
A. The Fifth Annual Guildford Beer Festival takes place on Friday, 25th and Saturday 26th July.
Q. Where will it be?
A. At Guildford Cricket Club at The Sports Ground in Woodbridge Road, Guildford GU1 4RP. The Beer Festival takes place in large marquees at the Railway End of the ground. There is plenty of seating outdoors and under cover.
Q. What’s the history of the Guildford Beer Festival?
A. The inaugural Guildford Beer Festival was held in August 2010. It was organised by and hosted at Guildford Cricket Club. The event was a great success and sold out. Each successive GBF has attracted more visitors and it is now a fixture of the Guildford Summer calendar.
Q. What are the opening hours?
A. There are three separate timed sessions – you buy a ticket to one or more. The sessions are Friday evening (6.00 – 10.00), Saturday afternoon (12.00 to 4.00) and Saturday evening (6.00 – 10.00).
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Tickets are £10.00 (Friday evening) and £8.00 (Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening). CAMRA members receive a discount in the form of tokens entitling them to a free pint – tokens are issued on arrival upon presentation of a current CAMRA Membership card.
Q. Where can I buy tickets?
A. Tickets may be purchased from 1st April 2014:
On-line from the Guildford Beer Festival website. Note that when you buy a ticket online, you receive your ticket(s) in PDF format by email – no ticket is posted.
In person from The Guildford Tourist Information Centre, 155 High Street, Guildford
GU1 3AJ (Tel. 01483 444333, www.visitguildford.com).
As stated above, CAMRA members pay the full price when purchasing their admission tickets, but will receive free tokens on arrival.
Once the cricket season begins, you can also buy tickets in person from the Pavilion Bar at Guildford Cricket Club on match days.
Q. Why is there an entry charge when I then have to pay for my beer?
A. The admission price includes a commemorative GBF tasting glass and a souvenir programme with the full beer list and tasting notes. We also have to cover quite large overheads – hire charges for the marquees, mobile toilets, lighting, fencing and the musical entertainment. There are also cleaning, insurance, security and administrative costs. The GBF an upmarket event with high quality facilities, and we do not skimp on the set up.
Q. What is there to drink?
A. We will again be concentrating on cask ales sourced from independent and micro-breweries within a 30 mile radius and handmade ciders. There will be at least 70 different beers and ciders to sample from around 25 breweries and producers. There will be a varied range of ABVs, colours and different styles of ale (IPA’s, milds, porters, blonde ales, strong ales). Separate from the Beer Tent, will have a bar in the Music Tent selling an interesting range of wines and soft drinks.
Q. What will be new this year?
A. About half the beers in the Beer List will be different to what we offered last year. We are featuring up to 10 new breweries, including several which started in the last year. For the first time, we will also be offering a selection of keg craft beers and ciders served cold.
Q. I came to the last GBF and not all the beers in the programme were available. Why?
A. A couple of those listed did not arrive from the brewery, and we had a couple of substitutes (also unlisted). We will only serve beer if it is in perfect condition, so if a beer is cloudy and needs more time to settle, we will not start selling it until it is ready.
Q. How does the token payment system work?
A. You purchase drinks with plastic tokens, which you purchase for cash at the admission desk. One token buys you ½ pint. There are signs explaining how much tokens cost and how many it makes sense to buy. Don’t purchase too many – there is NO REFUND for unused tokens at the end. If you run out during the evening, you can easily buy more at the front desk (and there will be no queue after the initial rush). Tokens are used at most beer festivals. It makes paying for beer simple and quick, speeding up service in the Beer Tent.
Q. How much is a pint?
A. All beers and ciders are served by the ½ pint. Each ½ pint costs one token – all the beers and ciders cost the same. We will sell 6 tokens for £10.00, which works out at £1.67 per ½ pint or £3.33 per pint.
Q. Is it easy to get to the venue?
A. Guildford Cricket Club in Woodbridge Road is very close to the town centre. It is a short walk from Guildford Railway Station (look for directional signs so you take the shortest route) and from Guildford Bus Station. Most visitors come by public transport but there is also ample free parking in the ground (enter via the gate in Woodbridge Road at the Railway End, close to the Woodbridge Café).
Q. Will I be able to get food at the event?
A. Yes – there will two high quality food concessions offering a hog roast, gourmet burgers, chips, beef or vegetarian chilli, pies, etc. Note that you pay for food using CASH not tokens.
Q. Will there be live music?
A. Yes – There is superb live music at all three sessions in the Andertons Music Tent – a total of eleven (!) acts. At the Opening Session on Friday evening, the Headline Act is the HACKNEY COLLIERY BAND – East London’s take on a brass band! Look out for further announcements of the music programme.
Q. Am I allowed to bring my dog?
A. Sorry – guide dogs only. The event is very busy and not suitable for dogs.
Q. Can I bring the kids?
A. Absolutely not – there is strictly no admission for persons under the age of 18.
Q. Do you offer corporate packages?
A. Yes – contact Chad Murrin on 07767 224632 for details.
Q. Do you need bar staff?
A. Most of our staff are volunteers, including expert assistance from the Guildford Lions and Surrey & Hants Branch of CAMRA. If you are interested in joining the team, email Chad Murrin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07767 224632