Live near Paisley? Love great beer? Here is everything you need to know about this year's Paisley Beer Festival

What is the Paisley Beer Festival?

Scotland’s largest beer festival is back for its 29th year and the organisers say it will be bigger and better than ever before.

Renfrewshire CAMRA will be hosting over 230 of the best real ales from Scotland and the rest of the UK, around 200 beers from the rest of the world, a large selection of cider and, for the first time at a beer festival, Scottish mead.

Where is it?

Returning to its regular featured setting the beer festival will once again be held in the Paisley Town Hall. The picturesque Victorian building is situated in the heart of the city centre and is easily accessed by bus and train.

When will it be held?

This year’s event runs from Wed 20th April 2016 through to last orders on Sat 23rd April.

The sessions will run as follows:

• Wednesday 20th – 5pm until 11pm

• Thursday 21st – 12pm until 11pm

• Friday 2nd – 12pm until midnight

• Saturday – 12pm until 9pm

Getting there…

By bus – Many buses run from Glasgow city centre to Paisley and it is easily accessed by public transport from surrounding towns.

By train – Hop on a train to Paisley Gilmour Street, the Town Hall is just a short walk from the train station.

Tickets

Tickets are available on the door and are priced at £6 Standard (£4 for CAMRA members) or £10 Premium – which includes tokens for 3 1/2 pints – both tickets include free entry to future sessions and a free limited edition Paisley Beer Festival glass.

 

Highlights

Let’s face it there’s only one major reason to go to a beer festival and that’s to try all those great pale ales, stouts, ambers, milds, porters and golden ales on the beer menu.

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Thankfully, this is truly a great festival for lovers of variety. Scottish breweries are represented strongly (as you’d expect) with deservedly established stalwarts like Kelburn,Loch Lomond, Strathavenand Williams Brosthrough to trailblazers like Highland(Swanney),FallenAlechemy and Ayr, as well as exciting newcomers like Windswept, Jaw, WooHa and Top out.

Not to be outdone, rUK will also be sending their best beers north of the border. World Top Brewery, Lacons – of Great Yarmouth – and Vocation will be there representing England (and Yorkshire),  as will Oakham , Magic Rock Brewing and Thornbridge. Tiny Rebel will also make an appearance as one of the big entries from Wales.

As for the rest of the world there will be a great selection of wonderful world beers from America (yup) Belgium (obviously), the Czech Republic (yup, of course) and Spain (yea- wait what?). Perhaps one of the biggest hotbeds for great beer right now, Holland, will also be in attendance including the truly wonderful De Molen (seriously, check them out).

As a refreshing treat and an aside from all the excellent beers, the festival will also be highlighting another CAMRA staple, real cider.

A big talking point will also be the arrival of Scottish mead – a festival first, so be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to try this wonderful product.

Advice and a note of caution 

Please drink responsibly. The beer festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.

And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.

Luckily, the festival runs over four days so you can always come back the next day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I keep my glass? Yes, you can keep your glass, if you’re like us you’ll probably want to add it to your already extensive collection of beer festival glasses, or perhaps you’re just wanting to get one going.

How do I become a CAMRA member? If you’re reading this guide then there’s already a fair to middling chance that you’re a fan of  real ales, or at least have an interest in them. Should this be the case then joining CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) can be a great way to extend your knowledge and support the industry. Membership costs as little as £2 a month and you can find out how to join – or to buy a gift membership for someone who deserves a treat – here.

Will there be food at the event? It hasn’t been confirmed but there will generally be food stalls on offer at CAMRA events and if not, there are plenty of places to eat in Paisley city centre.

How will I know what to drink? Luckily, there will be well informed staff at each of the bars to give you information on each of the beers available.

Should I drink pints?  Some of the beers (depending on strength) may be restricted to half pints and as a rule, it’s probably more enjoyable if you try each beer as half pints, as you’ll be able to sample more of the extensive collection but again it’s entirely up to you.

Is there a dress code? No, thankfully real ale enthusiasts are a relaxed and friendly crowd and you’ll find nearly all forms of clothing are welcomed.

Keep up to date with information about the Paisley Beer Festival by following:

Twitter: @PaisleyBeerFest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paisleybeerfestival
Website: http://paisleybeerfestival.org.uk/

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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