Frequently asked questions
Question: When is this year’s Guildford Beer Festival?
Answer: The Eleventh Annual Guildford Beer Festival is on Friday, 22nd and Saturday, 23rd May 2020.
The organising committee have announced that this year’s Guildford Beer Festival 2020 has been cancelled – 18th March 2020.
Question: Where will it be?
Answer: Once again 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.
Question: Is it easy to get to the venue?
Answer: Guildford Cricket Club in Woodbridge Road is very close to the town centre. It is a short walk from Guildford Railway Station and from Guildford Bus Station. Most visitors come by public transport but there is also ample free parking in the ground.
When you arrive, enter via the Railway End gate on Woodbridge Road (close to the Woodbridge Café). There is no access via the Pavilion End gate on Wharf Road.
Question: What’s the history of the Guildford Beer Festival?
Answer: The inaugural Guildford Beer Festival was held in August 2010. It was organised by and hosted at Guildford Cricket Club. Each successive beer festival has attracted more visitors and it is now a fixture of the Guildford summer calendar.
Question: What are the opening hours?
Answer: There are three separate timed sessions – you buy a separate entrance ticket for each session. Session One is on Friday evening (6.00pm – 10.00pm), Session Two on Saturday afternoon (12.00pm – 4.00pm) and Session Three on Saturday evening (6.00pm – 10.00pm).
Question: How much are admission tickets?
Answer: Admission tickets are £10.00 for each session. This price has not increased since 2014. Unlike some other beer festivals, there are no booking fees on top of the ticket price. CAMRA members pay the full price for their admission ticket but upon arrival they receive a discount in the form of tokens entitling them to a free pint (you need to show your current CAMRA membership card).
Question: Where can I buy tickets?
Answer: Tickets are available:
- Online 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. If you don’t receive your ticket(s) by email by return, check they have not gone to your Junk email folder; and if still not there, please get in touch by email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can resend them to you.
- In person from The Guildford Tourist Information Centre, 155 High Street, Guildford GU1 3AJ Tel 01483 444333.
- Once the cricket season begins, you can also buy tickets in person from the Pavilion Bar at Guildford Cricket Club on match days.
CAMRA members pay the full price when purchasing their admission tickets, but will receive free tokens on arrival.
Question: Does the event sell out?
Answer: Session One on Friday evening always sells out and there is no guarantee tickets will be available on the day for the two Saturday sessions. You are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Question: I bought a ticket to the GBF but now find I can’t attend. Can I get a refund?
Answer: Sorry – no. Our policy is no refunds of tickets or tokens purchased in advance. However, if you have bought a ticket that you then find you can’t use, you can transfer it to a friend.
Question: Can I buy a ticket to the Saturday afternoon session and then stay on in the evening?
Answer: No. It is a condition of our Licence that admission is by ticket to each timed Session. We are required to close the bars and stop serving at 4 pm at the end of the Saturday afternoon Session, with the ground to be clear half an hour later. If you would like to attend the Saturday evening Session at 6 pm, you will need to be re-admitted and have a ticket for that Session.
Question: What is the latest time for admittance?
Answer: The last admission is one hour before the Session ends.
Question: Why is there an entry charge when I then have to pay for my beer?
Answer: 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 overheads – hire charges for the marquees, mobile toilets, lighting, fencing and the musical entertainment. There are also cleaning, insurance, security and administrative costs.
Question: What is there to drink?
Answer: In the main Beer Tent, we will again be concentrating on cask ales and craft keg beers sourced from independent and micro-breweries within a 30 mile radius of Guildford. There will be around 130 different beers to sample from around 25 breweries. The beer line up is extremely varied, with many different ABVs, colours and different styles of beers (IPAs, best bitters, milds, porters, stouts, blonde ales, strong ales). In addition to the main beer bar, a second bar has a broad range of ciders, wines and gins from local producers along with soft drinks.
This year, our Gin and Spirits bars are:
- Nibbs Spirits https://www.nibbsspirits.co.uk/
- Blue Thorn Gin https://bluethorngin.co.uk/
- The Village Spirit Collection https://www.villagespiritcollective.com/
- Hogmore Distillery https://www.hogmoordistillery.co.uk/
Please note, during session three the full range of beers will not all be available. There will still be a very extensive selection of beers to try, but some will already have been drunk.
Although we take every care to label the drinks for food allergies, we can not guarantee that there won’t be traces of nuts and other allergens on site.
Question: How does the token payment system work?
Answer: You purchase drinks and food with the same plastic tokens. One token buys you ½ pint of beer or cider (all beers and ciders are priced the same and are sold by the ½ pint). Tokens are used at most beer festivals. It makes paying for beer and food simple and quick, speeding up service.
Question: How much do tokens cost?
Answer: Tokens purchased at the event will be available in various multiples and the cost works out at £2 per ½ pint or £4 per pint:
2 tokens cost £4.00
4 tokens cost £8.00
8 tokens cost £16.00
10 tokens cost £20.00
12 tokens cost £24.00
A ½ pint of beer or cider cost 1 token. A glass of wine costs 2 tokens and a single gin and tonic is 3 tokens.
You can purchase 8 tokens in advance for £16 at the same time as you purchase admission tickets online.
Question: Can I purchase tokens in advance?
Answer: Yes – we have introduced advance purchase. You can pre-order and pay for tokens online at the same time as you book tickets. On arrival, you will collect your pre-ordered tokens at the Admission Desk. This will speed up your admission to the event. Please note purchasing a set of tokens does not allow admission, you still need to buy an admission ticket.
Question: Can I purchase tokens at the event?
Answer: Yes of course. 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).
All payment methods accepted.
Question: Can I pay for tokens by card or do I need cash?
Answer: You can pay for tokens with either cash or cards.
Question: Will I be able to get food at the event?
Answer: Yes – there will be three high quality food concessions offering a wide selections of food, including vegetarian options.
- Eat the Street, local produce sourced from local farms, butchers and bakers. https://eatthestreet.co.uk/
- Halloumi Bite, Surrey based Greek Cypriot food truck. https://halloumibite.co.uk/
- Hungry Buddha, a new Thai street food brand. https://hungrybuddha.net/
Note that you pay for food using TOKENS.
The three food stalls at the Guildford Beer Festival are all independent operators, each should display allergen information and be able to provide guidance about dietary requirements.
Although every care will be taken to label the food available for food allergies, we can not guarantee that there won’t be traces of nuts and other allergens on site.
Question: Am I allowed to bring my dog?
Answer: Sorry – guide or assistance dogs only. The event is very busy and not suitable for dogs.
Question: Can I bring the kids or a baby in a pram?
Answer: Our Licence states that there is strictly no admission for persons under the age of 18. We cannot make any exceptions.
Question: Is there a long queue to get in?
Answer: Every effort is made to admit people as quickly as possible. However, the GBF is very popular and the capacity is 2,000 persons per session. We work very hard to get everyone in quickly and we start admitting people a few minutes before the Session start time. However you may have a short wait.
Question: Are there security staff at the event?
Answer: Yes. It is a condition of our Licence that we have an adequate number of stewards, including SIA licensed security staff. The GBF is traditionally a friendly and relaxed event. Whilst the Organisers reserve the right to refuse entry or require any person who is intoxicated to leave, this has happened only a couple of times in the 10 years the event has taken place.
Question: Are there security checks at the admission gate?
Answer: As is usual at large public events, our security staff will search bags at the point of admission. Depending on advice received at the time from the police, it is possible there may be additional security precautions.
Question: Can I bring my own drink or food?
Answer: Bringing in alcoholic drinks is strictly prohibited and misses the point of the event, which is to try a wide range of interesting local beers, ciders, gins, wines, etc. Our security staff will normally permit you to bring in an unopened bottle of water. At their discretion, the security staff may issue you with a new bottle of water free of charge, instead of the bottle you bring with you. There will be two clearly marked stand pipes with mains water for visitors to obtain drinking water during the event.
There will be three different catering stands offering a wide range of meals (including vegetarian options). However, if you prefer to bring your own food for personal consumption, this is fine.
Question: Will I be able to watch cricket during the Saturday afternoon?
Answer: No, there is no match at The Sports Ground at Woodbridge Road on Saturday 23rd May.
Question: Can I leave my car at the venue overnight?
Answer: Yes, you may do so as long as it is removed by 11 am the next morning. Cars parked at the venue overnight are left at the owner’s risk, with the Organisers accepting no liability.
Question: Do you offer corporate or group packages?
Answer: Yes. The event is very popular with local companies and organisations, who bring groups of their hardworking employees and/or business contacts. We offer a discount for groups of 10 or more. We also offer an all-inclusive corporate package comprising admission tickets and tokens for drinks and food. Further details will be posted here on the website shortly, or you can obtain further information from Chad Murrin on 07767 224632 or at email@example.com.
Question: Are there opportunities for my business to be involved as a sponsor?
Answer: Yes. There are a number of sponsorship options. You can obtain further information from Chad Murrin on 07767 224632 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: Do you need bar staff?
Answer: Yes. Most of our staff are volunteers, including expert assistance from Surrey & Hants Branch of CAMRA and students at Surrey University studying International Event Management. If you are interested in joining the team, email our Operations Manager Steve Page (Event & Venue Partnerships) at email@example.com or call him on 01483 678930 or 07973 739516.