Durham Beer Festival Returns in August


Festival Poster

The 2014 Durham Beer Festival takes place on the 27th-30th of August. Featuring 120 real ales and 30 ciders/perries, including all-new Battle of the Beers entries, it is a great opportunity to try something new.

The festival will be at the Durham Students’ Union building on New Elvet, Durham. Food, soft drinks, wine and spirits will also be available.

Edit: Beer and Cider lists are now available!

Opening Hours

  • 6pm-11pm Wednesday (CAMRA members from 4pm)
  • 11am-11pm Thursday,Friday,Saturday

Volunteers Needed

Would you like to try pulling a few pints? Working at the beer festival is great fun and no previous experience is needed. If you are interested, please see the Volunteer pages.


Would you like to support the festival and get your message out too? Your company logo or personal message could be on a beer or in the programme, for everyone to see. Please see the Sponsorship page for more information.

20 Years of The Durham Brewery

The CAMRA Durham Branch’s oldest brewery turns 20 this year and is celebrating with a party on Saturday 2nd August.

In August 1994 Christine and Steve launched a 5 barrel plant on the Bowburn North Industrial Estate. The microbrewery revolution was just getting going and the market was ready for something new; the brewery quickly grew and planted strong roots. In the first few years they supplied the cask market and had particular success with the pale and hoppy beers which were to become so popular in the country. That was not enough for Steve though, and in 2000 the brewery launched their first bottle-conditioned beer, Millennium City, now known as St Cuthbert. The bottles have gone from strength to strength and now they now boast an extensive portfolio of styles from pale bitter to Russian Stout, and hefeweizen to saison porter. In 2005 Evensong achieved Gold at the Great British Beer Festival. Durham Brewery bottled beer can now be found in many parts of the world; a recent addition being Taiwan.

On 2nd August the brewery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open day for much tasting and a barbecue. To make the bar area into a real pub, the office has recently been moved onto a mezzanine, leaving the whole area free for drinking and hospitality. Brewery tours and tastings have become regular events and the extra room will make the experience more convivial. Drinkers are encouraged to come and sample through the week. A special 10% abv pale beer called 1994 is conditioning at this very minute. It is based on White Stout . Steve has invented a new style – Imperial Pale Stout!

More information on the open day as well as information on tours and their full range of beers can be found on their website http://www.durhambrewery.co.uk/

(Adapted from an email sent by the brewery to The Durham Brewery Beer Club Newsletter)


POTY and COTY Nominations Deadline Extended

If you’re a CAMRA Durham member and haven’t yet nominated any pubs for Pub of the Year, Club of the Year or Cider Pub of the Year, you now have extra time to do so – the nominations deadline has been extended to January 26th.

To take part, please email your nominations to the Secretary. You can nominate up to two pubs, up to two clubs and up to two cider pubs.

Have You Voted For CBOB Yet?

It’s that time of year again – CAMRA members have until the end of this year to nominate their favourite beers for next year’s Champion Beer of Britain and Champion Winter Beer of Britain contests.

To cast your vote, go to www.cbobvoting.org.uk and log in using your CAMRA login details. You can then select up to five beers for each category using the lists provided. There are eleven categories, and you can vote in as many or as few as you wish.

Members without internet access can still vote by passing their preferences on to a member of the branch committee – if you know a member who would like to do this, please let them know.

Why not have a look at WhatPub?

At the end of September CAMRA launched WhatPub, its own online guide to the pubs of the UK, to the general public. It contains information of in excess of 35,000 pubs which serve real ale in the UK, which it believes represents about 96% of the total.

You can access WhatPub by visiting whatpub.com from any device and if you use it from a smartphone you will find that the layout has been optimised to display well from that device. This is useful if you are visiting an area and you would like to know where you might get a decent pint. Not only can you search by keying in location or name, there is also an option to search for ‘pubs near me’ if you have switched on location services on your phone.

As it is CAMRA’s product the availability of real ale is an important feature but it also records other details you might want e.g. opening hours, whether the pub serves food, if you can take the dog or the kids and so on.

Now of course any guide is only as good as the accuracy of the data it holds and pubs change all the time. The data is gathered and updated by volunteers from CAMRA branches around the country – in Durham a small band under the direction of our Pubs Officer have been collecting and updating data on our pubs in readiness for the launch. We have identified and entered records for approaching 200 real ale outlets in the area but it’s a continuing process and we know it’s not complete. Our area is quite large and help is always appreciated – that is where you come in!

Within Whatpub there is a facility to provide updated information on pubs to the local branch, so if you are out and about and you notice information in Whatpub is missing or not quite right on any pub please let CAMRA know. If you are not a CAMRA member then there is facility within the pub details to send an email; if you are a member then a more detailed form on the information is made available if you log on with your membership number and password. If a pub is completely missing (even those that do not sell real ale), send the details from another local entry. The information you provide won’t be immediately updated in Whatpub but the local branch will receive it and be able to confirm and modify the pub information accordingly.

If you are a CAMRA member there is also a facility for rating the quality of the beer you have sampled using the simple National Beer Scoring System. That information will not be publicly displayed but you will be able to see your own records and the local branch will be able to access their own pub data which will be invaluable when appraising outlets for not only selling real ale but keeping it well also.

Get on to whatpub.com, we look forward to hearing from you!

Dave Thornton