Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

Try 100s of Beers as Leeds International Beer Festival Returns to Leeds Town Hall

· Joseph Sheerin · Food and Drink

Sup beer from all over the world, eat street food and enjoy the live entertainment.

Leeds International Beer Festival

Leeds International Beer Festival is back for a seventh 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 ale, craft beer, street food and entertainment at Leeds Town Hall – and 2018 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 6th to Sunday 9th September 2018, it will play host to over 50 breweries from all over the UK and the rest of the world. Expect a few familiar faces alongside a heap you might not have come across – and therein lies the beauty of it all.

Leeds International Beer Festival

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 a handful of new UK breweries to the line-up, like Track Brewing Co, Lost and Grounded and Almasty Brewing Company.

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, Roosters, Northern Monk and North Brewing Co, as they show why Yorkshire’s become a real hotbed of brewing talent. The latter isn’t just showing off their own brews – they’re also making cocktails on the Town Hall’s steps, cracking open bottles of Orval in the cells below and serving kölsch imported directly from Cologne at a special separate bar.

The Leeds International Beer Festival also looks out across the world for quality beers. Behemoth Brewing Company, 8 Wired and Yeastie Boys are coming all the way from New Zealand, while Dry & Bitter are heading from Denmark, Atomium and Brouwerij de Molen hop over from Belgium, Lervig comes from Norway and Edge Brewing make the trip from Barcelona.

There’s a new international element to this year’s festival too. Instead of welcoming loads of American breweries, for 2018 they’ve got the Maine Beer Box. It’s a shipping container filled with exclusive beers made by over 60 breweries from Maine, USA – we’re talking special tipples from the likes of The Liberal Cup, Penobscot Bay Brewery and Lubec Brewing Company. It’s being sent by freighter ship across the Atlantic Ocean and will sit proudly outside Leeds Town Hall.

The international flavours can also be found in the food offering at Leeds International Beer Festival, and you’ll need something tasty to mop up the booze. So look out for Indian street food from Bundobust, Asian bao buns from Little Bao Boy, vegan Berlin-style kebabs from Döner Summer and chicken parmos from Parmstar. An old favourite is making a comeback too. One year on since they closed their shops, you can once again tuck into Boss Burgers’ juicy treats, from The Smokeback to The Moozadell.

As much as the festival is a celebration of great beer from around the globe, it’s also renowned for its entertainment line-up. Once again, they have three different live spaces, with the Main Stage, the outdoor Tipi and downstairs in The Crypt. Expect to see the likes of Cowtown, Here Comes Your Mam, Natterers and Daniel Thomas bring the tunes over the course of the weekend, while A Tribe Called Quiz are hosting a beer-themed quiz in The Crypt on Thursday night.

Leeds International Beer Festival

Got kids? Sunday is a dedicated family day at Leeds International Beer Festival, so bring them along to join the fun. Hops & Tots will set up shop in the Tipi outside the Town Hall with a play mat and toys for babies and younger kids, while the older ones can have a go at colouring in the black and white prints of Drew Millward’s artwork for this year’s festival.

For the seventh year in a row, the city’s biggest beer festival brings together a host 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 seven.

The Leeds International Beer Festival is at Leeds Town Hall on Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th September 2018. Tickets are available now and a split into sessions of Thursday evening (£9), Friday afternoon (£9) and evening (£11), Saturday afternoon (£11) and evening (£11) and the family-friendly Sunday afternoon (£7.50) with free entry for under 18s.

Pick up your tickets for all sessions here.