The 2019 Suffolk Beer Festival Guide

As spring turns into summer the Beer Festival season starts. Here's our 2019 guide for gin and beer

As spring turns into summer the Beer Festival season starts. Here's our 2019 guide for gin and beer festivals in Suffolk - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As the days get warmer, the bank holidays more frequent, it can only mean we are heading into beer festival season.

Beer festivals are a good excuse to meet up with old friends. Left to right, Hannah Milwain, Charles

Beer festivals are a good excuse to meet up with old friends. Left to right, Hannah Milwain, Charles Rogers and Joe Jeffrey's. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival, Apex, Bury St Edmunds, (May 1-4)

The East Anglian Beer and Cider Festival returns to Bury St Edmunds with an even bigger selection of real ales to try plus a Pimm’s and Prosecco bar, food stalls and live entertainment. Steeped in brewing history, the cathedral town is an apt location for this highly popular event, which leads into the spring bank holiday weekend.

This year beer lovers will be able to sample some 150 quality ales and 30 ciders from a range of micro, local, regional and national producers across the UK, all of whom meet the strict CAMRA guidelines. There will also be ‘Meet the Brewer’ and ‘Meet the Maltster’ sessions, plus book signings and talks by world famous writer of all things beer, Roger Protz.

Marc Titford and Greg Ccooper enjoying a pint on the Ipswich Waterfront Photo: Lucy Taylor

Marc Titford and Greg Ccooper enjoying a pint on the Ipswich Waterfront Photo: Lucy Taylor

The event will take place in The Apex but, for the first time this year, the festival will also be located in Charter Square in the Arc Shopping Centre. Festival-goers can now relax outside and enjoy live music from the Sound Stage, while tucking into a variety of tasty food offerings from the likes of the Crusty Pie company, Carduso’s Kitchen and sausage barrow trader Tommy Sore. There will also be free entertainment for accompanied children.

For information including a beer and cider list, opening times and ticket prices visit the festival website

Haverhill Beer Weekend, Haverhill Arts Centre (May 3-5)

Museum of East Anglian Life beer festival. Visitors enjoying a pint in the sun. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Museum of East Anglian Life beer festival. Visitors enjoying a pint in the sun. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

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It will be a great opportunity to meet friends and compare notes on a wide range of regional ales and ciders including from The Nethergate Brewery Old Growler, Eon’s Milk Stout and Suffolk County and Two Tree Island ale an Six Little Ships Bitter from the Leigh on Sea Brewery.

This year there will also be a gin bar, focusing on craft distilleries from within Suffolk. It will be a chance to try out something a bit different from the supermarket bog-standards, the unusual flavourings include hibiscus and burdock, and strawberry and ginger. All are over 40% proof with one, Navy Strength Gin coming in at a mind-bending 57%.

When the ‘scientific’ research flounders and the florid descriptions falter The Arts Centre Café will be on hand (at certain points of the day) to provide burgers and hotdogs.

On Saturday night there will be 50s and 60s style live music from The Caverners.

Entrance is £2 per session but CAMRA members go free. There will be free soft drinks for drivers and under 18s are allowed on site up to 9pm as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be purchased in advance from

The times are: Friday May 3 6pm – midnight; Saturday May 4: midday to 5pm and then 6pm to midnight; Sunday May 5: 11am to 5pm

Dark Ale Days Beer Festival, Edwardstone White Horse, (May 3-6)

A special homage to the dark stuff. Probably the longest running independent beer festival dedicated to dark beer in the country having been an annual occurrence since 1997. Expect deliciously dark beers ranging from sessionable Milds and Porters to big, boisterous Imperial Stouts and more.

Beers will be available variety of sizes with flights available to allow visitors to work their way through the list.

There will be live music all weekend and a BBQ on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (weather dependent).

For those wanting to make a proper weekend out of it, camping is still available. Give the pub a call at 01787 211 211. Limited electric hookups are available upon request. Drinks list to be announced in the coming weeks.

The King’s Head, Hadleigh (May 3 to 6)

Dozens of beers and ciders from across East Anglia and beyond take centre stage at The King’s Head this bank holiday weekend.

Landlord Mike is passionate about celebrating the best of the best and searches high and low to stock the festival with some of the finest ales Britain has to offer.

Pay as you go, or buy a ‘card’ to have stamped each time you buy a pint/half pint.

Food is available all weekend, including wood-fired pizza from the pizza takeaway in the pub garden, and there’ll be live music.

Cherry Tree Inn Beer Festival, Woodbridge, (May 31, June 1-2)

The Cherry Tree Inn, Woodbridge, (opposite Notcutts) will be holding their beer festival over a three day weekend from May 31 to June 2. There will be at least 20 real ales from all across Great Britain, including Broughton of Lannarkshire, Hafod of Flintshire, Bays of Devon, Reunion of London, Issac Poad of York and, of course, Adnams from Southwold.

The festival will run 10.30am to 11pm. Hot and cold food will be available from noon to 9pm Friday and Saturday and noon to 8pm on Sunday. For more information please see the website, telephone 01394 384627 or e-mail

Dove St Inn Spring Beer Festival, St Helen’s St, Ipswich (May 22-27)

The first beer festival of the year at The Dove Street Inn with more than 66 beers, milds & ciders on offer. Starts at noon on May 22.

Beer & Music Festival, Bildeston King’s Head, (May 24-27)

This will be the Kings Head’s 31st Annual Beer Festival with more than 30 locally brewed real ales, eight local real ciders plus decent homemade food and live music every day.

During the weekend there will be a Festival menu served on Friday 5-10pm, Saturday noon-10pm, Sunday noon-10pm and Monday noon-5pm. There’s free entry to the festival.

There will be live music throughout the weekend:

Friday May 24 – 9pm - The Bay Horse Boys

Saturday May 25 – 1pm - Y&UCME Session with Adam & Ian (Youth & Upcoming Musician Experience), 6pm - The Kings, 9pm - Buzz

Sunday May 26 – 1pm - Open Mic (all afternoon), 6pm - Jam Session, 9pm - Don’t Tell The Wife

Monday May 27 – 1pm - The Selion Swing Band, 6pm - Meddle

Gin & Rum Festival, Ipswich Corn Exchange (May 31, June 1)

The UK’s largest Gin & Rum Festival is coming to Ipswich. Get ready to be spoilt for choice with over 60 different gins and 60 different rums in an amazing venue for you to discover.

On arrival, you will receive a branded Copa glass, guide and glass satchel, which are all yours to take home. The guide showcases all our products and where you can find them, some of these being exclusive to the Gin and Rum Festival. There themed bars, a gin and rum guide as well as talks and master classes from the best Gin & Rum producers.

An award-winning resident DJ keep will keep the crowds entertained playing music from all genres. There will also be some great live entertainment so please bring along your dancing shoes.

To purchase drinks, visitors must purchase tokens at the top up station, bars do not take cash. Drinks are £5 each including mixer/tonic. Soft drinks and mixers are free and unlimited.

23rd Festival of Beer and Brewing, Museum of East Anglian Life, (July 4-7)

Excitement brewing for the Museum of East Anglian Life’s 23rd annual beer festival. Mark your calendars for Stowmarket’s favourite event.

The Festival of Beer and Brewing will be taking place from the 4th – 7th July and will feature over 80 real ales and a number of ciders. With live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

Felixstowe Gin Festival, Felixstowe & Walton United Football Club, Dellwood Avenue (July 6 6pm-11pm and July 7 1pm-6pm)

Felixstowe Gin Festival is back following the successful events of 2018 and it’s bigger and better than before. Now across two days with tickets available for each day individually, or as a two day ticket for both sessions.

Tickets are £12 per day, or £20 for both days and include an exclusive branded balloon gin glass, a gin guide and your entertainment (live music to be announced). Sit in our outside events area, or relax inside our function room.

There will be 40 incredible craft gins includng some rare flavours, served with mixer and garnish. Our gin bars operate a token system. Buy your tokens from the token station to redeem for each drink at one of the bars.

Food is available seperately and features a paella kitchen on Saturday and a BBQ on the Sunday.

Ipswich Beer Festival, Ipswich Corn Exchange, (September 19-21)

Staged by Hopsters, the relaunched Ipswich Beer Festival will bring together an an incredible

selection of craft ale, real ale and cider. The brews will combine the best of local breweries – several East Anglian breweries are already on board, from award-winning Burnt Mill and Ampersand, to Green Jacks and Adnams, with hopes Adnams may also set-up a bar showcasing their spirits – alongside a selection from around the UK.

A ticket gets you entry to the festival plus a festival glass and programme. Entertainment on the Friday night is live music from Mark Morriss, the front man from the Bluetones with a brand new solo album hitting shelves this year, you will be hearing fresh new tunes alongside some Bluetones classics.

The Saturday night will see live music from the best one man band there is – Lewis Floyd Henry fuses old skool rock/blues/metal with hip hop to create insane mash-ups. You’ve seen him going viral online, now come and see the man in the flesh.

Tickets available from Ipswich Regent

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