Unsurprisingly, there’s a distinct springtime theme to many of this month’s beer festivals. We’ve picked a handful of the best. As always, let us know in the comments if you think we’ve missed anything noteworthy.
6-7 March: Mad March Cider Festival
OK, so the absence of actual beer does prevent this from qualifying as a beer festival, but if you’re not averse to your fermented drinks deriving from apples and pears, Bromley CAMRA’s second Mad March Cider Festival (PDF) looks like a good bet. The festival kicks off at midday on Friday at Bromley’s H.G. Wells Centre (home of the local Labour Club), and runs until 11pm on Saturday. 32 ciders and eight perries are set to feature, and the entrance fee is a trivial £1 (or nothing at all if you’re a card-carrying CAMRA member).
11-13 March: London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival
Another CAMRA-organised event, the London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival is a stalwart fixture in the beer calendar. It returns for its 31st year to the Camden Centre in King’s Cross for three days, and promises more than 150 different beers, ciders and perries, with dedicated bars for London-produced beers and bottled beers from Europe and the USA. Entrance generally costs £3.50 (with a £1 discount for CAMRA members), although entry to the lunchtime sessions on the Wednesday and Thursday is free.
20-22 March: Pub on the Park Spring Real Ale Festival
London Fields’ Pub on the Park hosts this three-day festival over the third weekend of March. Organisers aim to have a rotation of 23 casks available, as well as bottled beer from Belgium and cider from Hertfordshire. Expect a strong turnout of London-brewed beers from the likes of Redemption and Five Points, American-style barbecue food and a homebrew competition. ‘DJs all day long’ are also threatened. Check the Facebook event page for more details.
27-29 March: Finborough Arms Herefordshire & Shropshire Beer & Cider Festival
Having recently celebrated the first anniversary of its re-opening, West Brompton’s Finborough Arms looks set to further underline its beery credentials with a weekend focusing on beer and cider from Herefordshire and Shropshire. Alongside the drink, ‘regional delicacies’ from the two counties are promised. The Saturday evening will also feature talks from a cider-maker and a head brewer.
28 March: London Brewers' Market
London Brewers' Market, an occasional event celebrating London's local breweries, returns for its springtime instalment on the last Saturday of the month. More than 20 London-ish brewers will man stalls in Old Spitalfields Market, showcasing their beers on draught and in bottles, for consumption either on or off the premises. Music lovers will be additionally served by the presence of the Independent Label Market, who will be providing a tuneful accompaniment from more than 80 independent record labels. Entrance is free: just rock up between 11am and 7pm and get stuck in.