Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

19 Leeds Beer Festivals You Need to Know About

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

From the city centre to the suburbs, make the most of Leeds’ beer festivals.

Leeds International Beer Festival

You never have to wait long for a beer festival in Leeds. The question is, which will you go to?

With the exception of December, when everyone’s drinking anyway, there’s a beer festival every month of the year in Leeds. Whether it’s the famous celebrations in Leeds city centre or some of the more quaint festivals out in the suburbs, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Brew-denell Beer Festival

Brudenell Beer Festival

Although it’s primarily known for its live music offering, the Brudenell Social Club loves its ales and craft beers with a few local breweries on cask and more than a few world beers on keg and in bottles. They love it so much, in fact, that since 2012 they’ve held their annual Brew-denell Beer Festival, which brings together the likes of Kirkstall, Saltaire and Ilkley, alongside Birra del borgo, Oskar Blues and Mikkeller. With street food vans outside and live music on all weekend, they really pull out all the stops out.

Brew-denell Beer Festival takes place at Brudenell Social Club every January.

Ilkley Beer Festival

Arcadia real ale bar, headingley, Leeds

For the past decade, Ilkley has been swarmed with beer lovers for their annual beer festival at the King’s Hall. A surefire sell out every year, it’s organised by the Ilkley and District Round Table Club to help promote local businesses, with donations made to good causes around the town. They succeed each year because they manage to source the best beer from across Yorkshire and the UK – think Wharfedale, Goose Eye, Northern Monk and, of course, Ilkley Brewery.

Ilkley Beer Festival takes place at King’s Hall, Ilkley every February.

Leeds CAMRA Beer, Cider & Perry Festival

CAMRA Beer Festival

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) are of course a big deal in Leeds and they host their own festival every March at Pudsey Civic Hall. Each year they centre their shenanigans around a particular theme – 2016’s being the 200th anniversary of the Leeds Liverpool Canal with canal-side breweries being a particular focus. That’s not all though, because they also scour the world for the best beers, from as near as Yorkshire and as far as America, Japan and Australia. With brews you can enjoy while taking in hot and cold food, live music, beer stalls and even an old fashioned tombola, this is not to be missed.

Leeds CAMRA Beer, Cider & Perry Festival takes place at Pudsey Civic Hall every March.

Morley Beer Festival

Beer, ale

Since 2012, Morley Cricket Club has been taken over by thirsty folk for the town’s beer festival. Working together with Liversedge’s Partners Brewery they stick on over 35 different real ales and ciders, featuring a range of breweries from Yorkshire and beyond. They offer plenty more too, with live music, rides, quad bikes, food stalls and a hog roast across three days. For the past years, Leeds boxing hero Josh Warrington open the event.

Morley Beer Festival takes place at Morley Cricket Club every March.

North Leeds Charity Beer Festival

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Now five years old, the North Leeds Charity Beer Festival has become a must do for real ale fans. With help from the Rotary Club of Roundhay and Sam Parker of the British Guild of Beer Writers, Roundhay Cricket Club offers over 30 different ales from around Yorkshire and further afield, with each year following a different theme. They also have ciders, spirits and soft drinks, while Wilson’s dish up their famous pork pies. Every festival sees the Rotary Club give some of the proceeds to local charities, with over £15,000 being given away since 2011.

North Leeds Charity Beer Festival takes place at the Roundhay Cricket Club on Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April 2017.

Rothwell Beer Festival

Thornbridge Brewery beers

A joint venture between Holy Trinity Church and the Rothwell Lions Club every April, the Rothwell Beer Festival is a community event that helps to give back to local charities as well as continuing the upkeep of the church. They scour the country to pick out the best beers they can find, with the likes of York, Thornbridge and Ossett all having their brews on in the past. They also have bottled beers, ciders, perrys, food and live music on offer, with special meet the brewer sessions too.

Rothwell Beer Festival takes place at Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell every April.

Thorner Beer Festival

Northern Monk

Taking place in the historic Victory Hall, the Thorner Beer Festival is a quaint village affair, but with plenty of choice to pick through. Last time out, they had 27 different beers on offer, from the likes of Northern Monk, Sunbeam Ales, Roosters and Brass Castle. Your ticket bags you a souvenir glass and tasting notes. There’s wine and lager for those who don’t want traditional fare, as well as hot food and live music.

Thorner Beer Festival takes place at Victory Hall, Thorner every April.

LS6 Beer Festival

Preview: LS6 Beer Festival 2015

There’s no better setting for a beer festival than Left Bank Church in Hyde Park. About 10 minutes taxi ride or train journey from the city centre, the old church becomes a hive activity every May with the likes of Ilkley, Leeds, Saltaire, Thornbridge, Marble, Wharfedale and Great Heck breweries showing off their wares. They also have street food vendors on site to keep you fed, and across the weekend, there’s a host of live entertainment too.

LS6 Beer Festival takes place at Left Bank Church every May.

Wetherby Beer Festival

Beer Festival

For the past six years, the Wetherby Lions have hosted a beer festival at St James’ Church to help raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and it’s always a popular weekend in the market town. The last one was the biggest yet, with over 20 beers on offer, as well as a prosecco bar, cider bar and soft drinks counter. Hungry, they have a proper bbq, not to mention, pies and peas to soak up all the booze.

Wetherby Beer Festival takes place at St James’ Church, Wetherby every May.

Clifford Beer Festival

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Just outside of Wetherby, Clifford is just a small village, but it has a cracking beer festival for you to attend. They have over 25 different beers on the go, with the likes of Theakstons, Roosters, Northern Monk, Ridgeside, Brown Cow, Kirkstall and Copper Dragon all showing off their brews in recent years. You can also indulge in hot and cold food, live music and a raffle. It’s all for a good cause too, as the festival helps to fund the upkeep of the Village Hall and their amateur football club.

Clifford Beer Festival takes place Clifford Village Hall every June.

Collngham Real Ale Festival

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Fans of Yorkshire booze will appreciate the Collingham Real Ale Festival. It offers up 20 cask ales and keg beers brewed right here in God’s Own County, as well as Yorkshire cider. If beer or cider isn’t your bag, they also have prosecco, Pimm’s and wine, with food from local street food vendors. There’s plenty of live entertainment, including morris dancing, and it all goes to help them raise money for Prader-Willi Syndrome, for which they’ve raised £21,000 in the past six years.

Collngham Real Ale Festival takes place at Collingham Memorial Halls every June.

Yarnbury Beer Festival

Kirkstall Brewery beer

While the Horsforth Beer and Cider Festival has taken some time off recently, locals need not despair, as the nearby Yarnbury Beer Festival will happily step into its shoes. A permanent fixture since 2010, their beer tent takes over the grounds of Yarnbury Rugby Club, offering up over 60 different real ales from all over Yorkshire including the likes of Kirkstall, Copper Dragon and Bradford. They also have cider and wine on offer, and the clubhouse bar is open if you fancy something a little more ordinary. Peckish? They serve up burgers and hot dogs with a side of live music all weekend long.

Yarnbury Beer Festival takes place at Yarnbury Rugby Club, Horsforth every July.

Temple Newsam Beer Festival

New to Leeds: Whippet Brewery Company

Still in its infancy, Temple Newsam Beer Festival fended off rough weather to make its first event a memorable one in 2016. Over 20 different beers were on offer, from the likes of Leeds’ own Whippet Brewing Co. to Bridgehouse Brewery in Keighley, alongside 12 ciders including three from the Yorkshire Cider Company. Folk also enjoyed live music, DJs and food from Wilson’s Pork Pies and Zorba’s Greek street food. The event helped to raise money for the upkeep of the grounds of Temple Newsam.

Temple Newsam Beer Festival takes place at Temple Newsam every August.

Leeds Beer Week

Bundobust

This is a beer festival unlike any other you’ll come across. It’s a city-wide, 10-day celebration of beer. Their first event has seen a number of special one-off events at the city’s best bars, including the Ilkley Brewery Beer Match Experience at The Black Swan and the Beaverton Tap Takeover at Headrow House. They also run longer events like The Cross Keys x North Brewing Co. Beer Dinners and the Low Mileage Beer Festival at The Brunswick. It’s only its first year, but we hope it’s not its last.

Leeds Beer Week takes place across Leeds in August and September.

Leeds International Beer Festival

Leeds International Beer Festival

Now in its fifth year, the Leeds International Beer Festival has quickly become the headline event of the year for the city’s beer lovers. The iconic Leeds Town Hall is taken over by breweries as near as Kirkstall and as far as Tuatara in New Zealand. But it’s about more than just a beer – they’re famed for the quality of their street food and live entertainment, be it music or art, and you even get to drink in unique spaces such as the cells below ground level.

Leeds International Beer Festival takes place at Leeds Town Hall from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th September 2016.

Barwick-In-Elmet Beer Festival

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Barwick-in-Elmet is most famous for its striking maypole in the centre of the village, however the local beer festival will soon be giving it a run for its money. Now in its eighth year, the Village Hall offers 20 Yorkshire cask ales, alongside eight different wines and 288 bottles of cider, world lagers and craft beers. There’s pie and peas to soak up the booze and a selection of traditional bar games to get involved in. Even better, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole Trust to help them put on the 2017 Maypole Festival.

Barwick-In-Elmet Beer Festival is at Barwick-in-Elmet Village Hall on Saturday 17th September 2016.

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Leeds

Taking over the the grounds of the Tetley for the first time, Oktoberfest Leeds is a four day celebration of Bavarian food, beer and music. You can sup the Erdinger’s weissbier and haus bier, while listening to the Oompah band – and if you happen to get hungry, they have a host of German dishes to devour, including Bratwurst, Brezel and Schnitzel. Although this is their first year, we’re already hoping they’ll return in 2017.

Oktoberfest is at The Tetley from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th October 2016.

Guiseley Lions Charity Beer Festival

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Coopers Bar and Bistro in Guiseley is the venue of the suburb’s yearly charity beer festival, which is arranged by the Guiseley Lions, who give the proceeds back to good causes in the local area. There are 25 different real ales and cask beers from around Yorkshire on offer, as well as wine, cider and the beer festival favourite, pie and peas. Add into the mix raffle prizes and live entertainment, and you’ve got a weekend well worth leaving the city centre for.

Guiseley Beer Festival takes place at Coopers Bar and Bistro on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October 2017.

Otley Beer Festival

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Otley Beer Festival is unique in that it’s the only weekend-long festival you can’t buy tickets for in advance – it’s pay on the door only. When you get past the queues outside Otley Rugby Club, you can see why this beer festival has lasted two decades. Their last event in 2015 saw over 60 real ales from 34 different breweries, as well as a choice of five craft beers for the first time. With donations made to Otley Parish Church and other local charities, they’ve raised an incredible £77,000 since 2002 – here’s to another two decades then.

Otley Beer Festival takes place at Otley Rugby Club from Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November 2016.

Brew-denell Beer Festival image copyright Jess Rowbottom. Bundobust image copyright Giles Smith.