Leeds International Beer Festival is back for a sixth year at Leeds Town Hall, promising beers from around the world, live music and street food.
It’s become something of a ritual to mark the first days of September with a weekend of real ales, craft beer, street food and entertainment at Leeds Town Hall – and 2017 will be no different. The Leeds International Beer Festival is back to transform the historic building into the most popular bar in the city for four days only.
From Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September 2017, it will play host to over 50 breweries from all over the UK and the rest of the world, with a few familiar faces alongside a few you might not have come across – and therein lies the beauty of it all.
From these shores, the Leeds International Beer Festival is a who’s who of the independent brewing scene in the UK. Manchester’s Cloudwater Brew Co. will be joined by the likes of Camden’s Five Points Brewing Company, Liverpool’s Mad Hatter Brewing Company and Cardiff’s Tony Rebel. They are also welcoming seven new UK breweries to the line-up – Elusive, Fierce, Gipsy Hill, Legitimate Industries, Left Handed Giant, Odyssey and Verdant will all be joining in the fun for the first time.
It wouldn’t be a beer festival if it didn’t have some local breweries in there. You’ve got Kirkstall Brewery sitting alongside Bad Co, Magic Rock, North Brewing Co, Northern Monk and Roosters, as they show why Yorkshire’s become a real hotbed of brewing genius.
The Leeds International Beer Festival also looks out across the world for quality beers. So you can see what the likes of America’s Firestone Walker, Sweetwater, Founders Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues are offering this year. But that’s not all – Three Boys Brewery, 8 Wired and Yeastie Boys are coming all the way from New Zealand, while Dry & Bitter and Mikkeller are heading from Denmark, Atomium and Brouwerij de Molen hop over from Belgium, Lervig come from Norway and Kona make the trip from Hawaii.
There’s a new element to this year’s festival to look forward to. In partnership with Magic Rock, it will host the launch of the 2017 International Rainbow Project. It’s an initiative that launched in 2013 which pairs seven UK breweries with seven breweries from a selected country or region – and this year, it’s the US. Each pairing is given a colour of the rainbow which is then used to inspire a collaborative beer, which you’ll be able to try out at the 2017 Leeds International Beer Festival.
The international flavours can also be found in the food offering at Leeds International Beer Festival, and you’ll need something to mop up the booze. So look out for charcuterie platters from Ham and Friends, juicy burgers from Boss, Indian street food from Bundobust and ginormous hot dogs from Piggie Smalls. They also have Blue Caribou dishing up their Canadian poutine, the award-winning slices of Scream for Pizza and meaty goodness from Crackerjack BBQ.
As much as it really is a celebration of great beer from around the globe, it’s also become renowned for its entertainment line-up too, and they’ve gone all out with three different live music spaces for 2017, on the Main Stage, in the Marquee and down in The Crypt. Expect to see the likes of Serious Sam Barrett, Keith Burton, Rediffusion All Stars and The Family Elan bring the tunes over the course of the weekend.
That’s not all the entertainment though – The Woods are back in the basement of Leeds Town Hall. Across the weekend, they also have a range of live art performances, film projections, stand-up comedy and DJ sets, working together with partners Lumen Arts. Sunday is family fun day this year. Grown ups can still sup a few beers and tuck into some grub, but those under 18 get in for free. They’re laying on games, face painting, circus performers and a magician for the kids to enjoy, with The Woods becoming a kid=friendly area too.
If that doesn’t prove that Leeds International Beer Festival is more than it seems, nothing will. For the sixth year in a row, it’s brought together some of the finest breweries from across the UK and beyond, and weaved them into a weekend of fun that everyone can get involved in, in one of the biggest landmarks in the city. Here’s to another six.
The Leeds International Beer Festival is at Leeds Town Hall on Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September 2017. Tickets are available now and a split into sessions of Thursday evening (£8), Friday afternoon (£7.50) and evening (£8.50), Saturday afternoon (£8.50) and evening (£8.50) and the family-friendly Sunday afternoon (£7) with free entry for under 18s.