• St Albans Beer & Cider Festival is the ultimate local event for beer and cider fans. Not only are we the original Hertfordshire festival, but we've got the biggest range of drinks, a diverse range of food offerings, a spectacular entertainment line-up... and all for much less than you'd pay to get into some other events.

  • The Festival is non-profit making; it's organised and staffed by volunteers, and all our proceeds go towards campaigning and local charities. Not only does that benefit the local community but it means we can offer you much better value, and an all-round better atmosphere, than commercially-run beer festivals.

  • We're back at the Alban Arena from Wednesday 25th - Saturday 28th September 2024, and tickets are on sale now.

The 2024 St Albans Beer and Cider Festival logo

This year's logo, designed by Howard Brewitt, marks an important anniversary in the history of St Albans - 200 years since the city gained its first street lighting in 1824. These were, of course, gas lamps and were served by the large gasometers at the bottom of Holywell Hill, off what is now Griffiths Way. The last of these huge gas storage constructions was only demolished in 2014, making way for a retail development. Our logo, featuring a cheeky beer-drinking gas lamp is a nod to this milestone, as well as a celebration of the modern-day electric equivalent that will guide you home after a night out at our Festival!

Frequently asked questions

Who organises the Festival, and where do the proceeds go?

The Festival is organised by the South Hertfordshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). All those directly involved in organising the event are volunteers, as are most of the Festival staff you will see during your visit. All proceeds from the Festival go towards CAMRA's campaigning activities or are donated to local charities.

What's the difference between your online packages and what I would pay on the door?

You will always save money by buying your tickets in advance online. Most of our online ticket packages include a £10 token card and your souvenir glass, so the price includes much more than just admission. Find out more here.

Will a season pass save me money?

If you are planning to visit the Festival on more than three separate occasions, purchasing a season pass may save you money. Please note the season pass does not include beer tokens or a glass deposit.

How does it work at the bars?

All our bars work on a token card system. Token cards are available in multiples of £5 and, when you buy a drink, its value will be crossed off your card. Glasses are lined and all draught beers and ciders are available in pint, half pint, or third of a pint measures.

What if I don't spend the whole value of my beer token?

When you decide to leave the festival, you can claim a refund for any value remaining on your token card(s). Alternatively, you can choose to donate any money remaining on your card to charity.

What if I don't want a souvenir glass?

You'll need a glass to get served at the festival and, unless you bring your own, that will mean using one of our souvenir pint or half-pint glasses. If you pay on the door, you'll need to hand over a £5 deposit for your glass, whereas if you've bought an online ticket package this deposit is already included. Our glasses are a great souvenir of the festival and most people take them home to keep - but if you don't want to hang on to yours, no worries - you can return it and claim your £5 deposit back as you leave the Festival.

Do you accept payment by credit/debit cards?

Yes, as well as cash, we also accept all major credit and debit cards for admission, as well as the purchase of token cards and glass deposits. Most of our food vendors also accept cash or card payment. Make sure you bring some cash if you want to use our coin-operated football table though!

Can I bring my children to the festival?

Yes, we welcome well-behaved and properly supervised children in the venue but only up until 5pm. There is no additional admission charge for children. Please do not allow anyone under 18 who you are supervising to approach the bars, as they cannot be served. Soft drinks are available from the food servery in the main hall.

Can I bring my pet dog to the festival?

Unfortunately, due to Alban Arena policy, no dogs (or other pets) are permitted in the venue, except for guide/assistance dogs.

Can I try a beer or cider before I buy?

If you're not sure whether you'll enjoy a product, we can offer a limited number of tasters, but please don't abuse this - remember we're a non-profit making event and we're working to very fine margins. We serve all draught beer and cider in thirds of a pint, so we recommend buying in this quantity if you want to try as many as possible.

How long after closing time do I have to finish my drinks?

In line with our alcohol licence, there is 20 minutes drinking-up time after the bars close, and we ask customers to please respect this.

Can I take beer or cider away from the Festival?

Unfortunately, due to a recent change in the law, we are now unable to offer draught beer or cider in take-away containers, or to allow you to decant drinks into your own take-away container. We know this is annoying and we wish it wasn't the case, but unfortunately it's what the law now says. If you want to take some great beer home to continue the Festival back at your place, we can offer you bottles from our International Bar.

I've had my picture taken by your official photographer - where will it end up?

Pictures taken by our official photographer are published on our social media channels, and may also appear on our website or in future publicity materials (e.g. leaflets or posters). If you have any concerns about your image being used in this way, please mention this to the photographer at the time, or ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team

How do I raise a concern about the behaviour of a customer?

We ask all our visitors to drink responsibly and show respect for fellow Festival-goers. Incidents are very rare at our Festival but if you do see something getting out of hand, or have any concerns, please mention it to a Festival volunteer or ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team.

How do I raise a concern or complaint about the Festival or its staff?

Please bear in mind that the vast majority of people involved in running the Festival are volunteers. The only exception to this are staff running our food franchises, members of the Alban Arena team, and some security personnel. But if you have any complaint or concern to raise, we absolutely want to listen and make things right - please ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team. Alternatively, if you would prefer to get in touch by email, see the "contact us" page on this website.

How can I become a Festival volunteer?

We're always looking for new volunteers and we have a wide variety of roles available to suit different skills, interests, and levels of physical ability. If you're interested in being part of the team, please either sign up using the form on this website or, if you have questions first, email staffing@stalbansbf.org.uk and our volunteering manager Dave will come back to you. If you'd like to have a chat at the Festival about volunteering in future years, please ask at the foyer for a member of the Festival organising team.