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Cheers to 40 years!

The Peterborough Beer Festival is celebrating its 40th birthday this week and we’re all invited to the party.

Since the birth of ESP Magazine we’ve always been a part of the popular annual event and we couldn’t be more proud to see it still going strong after all this time. We’ve run numerous quizzes at the festival and one year we even teamed up with Oakham Ales, who brewed us our very own ESP beer. We’re also involved in the Beer Judging, which ultimately crowns the champion Ale!

This year (22nd-26th August) there’s a new Gin Bar to complement the array of 400+ real ales, 80+ ciders and perries, English wines and continental bottled beers you can sample throughout this week. Also, to celebrate the 40th year of CAMRA beer festivals in Peterborough, the opening times have been extended on both the Friday and Saturday until 11.30pm – which will enable us festival visitors to enjoy a truly memorable August Bank Holiday weekend.

Here are the top 10 things I’ll be enjoying the most this time…

10) Seeing old friends! It seems everybody in the city and beyond attends the Peterborough Beer Festival. It’s a great place to bump into friends you’ve not seen in a long time.

9) Not seeing old friends! Let’s be honest, some old friends are old friends for a reason. With numerous massive marquees and a huge outdoor area, fear not – it’ll be easy to avoid that person.

8) The Beer. As always, there are 400 draught real ales including milds, bitters, porters, stouts, speciality flavoured beers and a few real lagers. To view the beer list, head to their website.

7) Live Music. Beer? Check! Banter? Check! Music? Check! What’s a party without music? Numerous live bands will be playing throughout the festival. Check our Gig Guide.

6) Gin? Get in! Here’s a brand new addition to the Festival to satisfy the ever growing demand from gin lovers everywhere – including myself! There’s a range of around 20 different and unique gins to sample at the event’s new Gin Bar.

5) A day out for the whole family. You may not think a Beer Festival is a suitable place for children. Think again. Lunchtimes and early evenings are the ideal time to take the family, as there’s always an easy going, friendly atmosphere. You can take the dog (on a lead), the picnic table, food and soft drinks but you must not take your own alcohol for obvious reasons. There is even a fairground for all to enjoy.

4) Being able to party for longer. To celebrate the 40th year of CAMRA beer festivals in Peterborough, they’ve extended the opening times on both the Friday and Saturday until 11.30pm!

3) Food… glorious food! There’s a wide selection of foods available including burgers, fish and chips, pizza, Cornish pasties, noodles, German sausages and French crepes, hog roast, kebabs, as well as traditional pub snacks like Pipers crisps, olives, pork pies and Scotch eggs. For those with a sweet tooth seek out the popular sweet stall or (if brave) try the scorpion chilli chocolate! Anyone else drooling thinking about it all? Just me?


2) Taking in the atmosphere. I can’t stress enough how fantastic the atmosphere is. Take a moment to stop and take it in. Listen out for the laughter and take in the conversations happening around you because – as we all know – plenty of booze can lead to some pretty random/hilarious topics.

1) Beer Judging! I will once again be judging on behalf of the mag (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!) and I promise to try and make you all proud with my scoring.

The Peterborough Beer Festival is being held on the River Embankment on August 22 – 26 look out for our Paparazzi photographers.

For more details on all of the times and prices, visit

Mikey Clarke

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