The Great British Beer Festival is returning to Olympia London this week for its customary Tuesday to Saturday run. This year the Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary, so we are raising a glass to the old and embracing the new.

Below please find a round-up of exciting new initiatives, offers and promotions visitors should keep an eye out for.

  • 40th birthday promotion ­­– To celebrate the Festival’s 40th birthday we are offering free entry to anyone who shares their 40th birthday that same week.
  • Wine and gin debut – For the very first time visitors will have the chance to sample fine English wines and gins from some of the country’s top winemakers at stand S19 in the Grand Hall.
  • Taste of Ireland – A collaboration of craft brewers from across Ireland is coming together to showcase the very best of Irish real ale at the Festival at stand B14C in the Grand Hall.
  • Champion Beer of Britain – The Champion Beer of Britain awards will be returning to the Festival this year as an exclusive highlight of the trade session on Tuesday 8th August at 3pm on the centre stage.
  • Special appearance from darts legend Bobby George – Bobby George will be joining Prostate Cancer UK on the 8th of August to play darts and raise awareness of prostate cancer. He will be available for interview and photos at 12:45 pm at stand ST04 Grand Hall.
  • Special appearance from world-renowned mountaineer Alan Hinkes – Meet Alan Hinkes on the 11th of August, the first Briton to climb all of the world’s 8000m mountains and author of the foreword to Wild Pub Walks, and will be attending the Wild Pub Walks tutored tastings.
  • A bespoke piece of pub artwork will be unveiled by design studio 1810 which features a constellation of heritage pubs on the Pub Heritage stand.
  • Tutored tasting sessions – From a taste inspired by the great outdoors to a food and beer pairing run by Propercorn and HonestBrew, make sure to book early to get a place on these exciting new tasting panels.

Exciting brewery bar features this year will include:

  • SIBA will be launching their Assured Independent British Craft Brewer campaign at the London Brewers Alliance bar. Photo of the brewers getting together to pull a pint will be available at 2 pm on trade day at stand B3D Grand Hall.
  • St Austells will have a ceremonial tapping of their exclusive festival imperial stout. The Black Square has taken a year to brew and condition. Tapping and photo opportunities will take place at 4pm of trade day at stand B16B Grand Hall.
  • Palmers Brewery will be joining us for the first time bringing two exclusive beers including a Festival Late Hop golden ale (4.5% ABV) and a Colmers American Citrus
  • Wadworth Brewery will be launch its “old cool is the new cool” campaign with two exclusives, a 6X Brewer’s Strength (6% ABV) and a 2 degree SW IPA (5% ABV). Look out for a mini BMW and a magician on the stand!
  • Innis and Gunn will also be joining us for the first time after expanding their keg range to include cask conditioned ales. They will be bringing an exclusive Thai IPA and for the first time an Innis and Gunn Original in cask.
  • Harvey’s Brewery has produced a collaborative brew with Burning Sky in memory of Ruth Anglezark, the CAMRA branch liaison officer for both breweries. Anglezarke’s IPA is a one-off brew that is likely to sell out quickly – definitely one for the connoisseurs!
  • Titanic Brewery will be releasing a new pump clip design at the festival and bringing an exclusive Plum Porter Grand Reserve (6.5% ABV) and a Gransbury Wheat Cherry dark beer.
  • Tiny Rebel will have tutored tastings on the stand and Fuller’s will bring a rare London porter in cask.
  • St Austells is now a two-brewery business including Bath Ales, and will be tapping their Imperial Stout on the stand and showcase traditional St Austell favourites as well as showcasing two Bath Ales on the bar this year.
  • XT Brewing will present a “Brit-Hop” special