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Wednesday 27 June 2012

35th Derby City Charter Summer Beer Festival, Wednesday 11th July to Sunday 15th July 2012.

The 2012 Derby Summer Beer Festival is here!
Here is my complete guide to one of the biggest and best Beer festivals in Derby, If I have missed anything please let me know. I have included opening Dates and Times, Admission Prices, Maps, Photographs, Beer and Cider lists, Entertainment details including videos of all the acts you can see at this years beer festival :

The Mayor of the City of Derby Councillor Lisa Higginbottom will open this years Derby Summer Beer Festival accompanied by The Beer King at 6.30pm on Wednesday 11th July at The Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby. The Mayor will make a brief speech from the stage at 7.00pm to the "opening night" audience.
35th Derby City Charter Summer Beer Festival organised by CAMRA.

This years Derby Summer Beer Festival takes place from Wednesday 11th July to Sunday 15th July 2012 at the Assembly Rooms in Derby :
Derby Assembly Rooms, venue for the Derby CAMRA summer beer festival.

This is at Derby Assembly Rooms which is on Derby Market Place near the Quad.
This year's festival will be celebrating 50 years of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

Map Location for the Derby Summer Beer Festival :

View Derby CAMRA summer beer festival venue. in a larger map

Smartphone Map Location
Click here for a Smartphone Drop Pin <-- Tap this link on your iPhone.
When you tap the link above, it will launch your mapping application and place a "push pin" onto the map with the exact location of the entrance toDerby summer beer festival. You can then use this marker to get driving, walking or bus directions from your current location.
For example on an iPhone you tap the Directions button at the bottom and this will pre-fill in the start and end locations so just tap the Route button at the bottom and it will show you either the driving route or the walking route.

What happens at a beer festival?
If its your first time, don't worry!, pop along and see.
When you go through the entrance doors of Derby Assembly Rooms you will have to either show your CAMRA membership card or pay the entrance fee. You then go up the stairs to the cloakroom area, here you will find toilets and also the Glass Hire area. You will need to hire either a half pint or one pint glass (£2.50). If you return this glass when you leave then you get your money back or you can keep it.
Once you have your glass you make your way up the two lots of stairs. In this area you will find all sorts of stalls selling T-shits, Glasses and other beer related items as well as food of all types.
On this level you will find the entrances into the Great Hall. The Great Hall is where most of the beers and ciders are located and also where the live entertainment will happen.
If its a bit too noisy for you in the great hall then just follow the signs along to the Darwin Suite.
If you are not sure what to try then you can ask for a taste before you buy, obviously don't do that too much otherwise you won't be too popular !

If you have never been to a beer festival before then you are missing an experience, there are not just beers on sale there are ciders and Perries.  You can get some hot or cold food too. T-shirts and glasses are available to buy. And live music to watch each day.

Its best to arrive by foot, there is plenty of parking outside for your Beer Scooter :)

When you pay the entrance fee, you go up the stairs and turn left to either hire a glass or buy a glass.
Its £2.50 for glasses which you can redeem at the end if you like.

Here are the opening times for the 2012 Deby beer festival.
  • Wed 11th July 6:30pm to 11pm
  • Thurs 12th July 11pm to 11pm
  • Fri 13th July - 11pm to 11pm
  • Sat 14th July - 11pm to 11pm
  • Sun 15th July - 12pm to 2pm
NOTE : The Main Hall will shut from 3pm to 5:30pm to maintain the quality of the beer however the Darwin Suite will remain open all day.

Admission Prices for non-camra members :
  • Wed 6:30pm -11pm £3
  • Thur 11am - 5:30pm £1, 5.30pm - 11:30pm £5
  • Fri 11am - 5:30pm £2, 5.30pm - 11:30pm £6
  • Sat 11am - 5:30pm £3, 5.30pm - 11:30pm £6
  • Sun Free entry to all
Admission is completely free to CAMRA Members.

Beer and Cider list:
2012 Derby Summer Beer and Cider list. (PDF)

Here is a video of the opening night of the 2012 Derby Summer Beer Festival :

Live Entertainment at Derby Beer Festival 2012  :

Responding to requests for more folk music, the festival kicks off with a set from Radio Mary. As well as playing all the usual venues, the band has also delighted race-goers at the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree's Grand National.
Radio Mary video on Youtube.

In addition, Ripley Morris Men will be strutting their stuff in the musical breaks and, in the foyer area, women's barbershop chorus Gem Connection will be singing two sets of four-part unaccompanied harmony at 9pm and 10pm.
Ripley Morris Men video on Youtube.
Gem Connection video on Youtube.


Bill Bailey's Jazz Band are back for a session of New Orleans Blues and foot-tapping trad jazz.
Bill Baileys Jazz Band video on Youtube.


Back by popular demand are Li'l Jim's Big Squeeze. Playing the Zydeco Ziti in Holland has opened many doors for the band that have taken Cajun music to a new wave level by adding a mix of ska, rock and roots.
Li'l Jim's Big Squeeze video on Youtube.

Support from 8pm is by classic rockers Old Skool, who play covers from the likes of Neil Young, Free, Bad Company and Thin Lizzy.


The Ben Holder Jazz Quartet perform in the Stefane Grappelli style with acoustic guitars and double bass. Violinist Ben was hooked on jazz at the age of 11 and is still only in his early 20s.
Ben played London's Albert Hall as part of a jazz season in June.
Ben Holder Jazz Quartet video on Youtube.


Up and coming Leeds band Tytania are the main attraction. Richard Brown's tenor vocals are allied to catchy modern rock songs and the band have earned a strong live following. Support from 8pm comes from Chaser, making their third visit to the festival.
Tytania have qualified for the grand final of "Live and Unsigned 2012" and will appear at the O2 arena in London the day after playing in Derby !
Tytania video on Youtube.

Meanwhile, if it's a more laid-back relaxed sound you're after, Blues Basement will play the Darwin Suite stage mixing the Chicago Blues greats such as Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters with a British blues sound.
Blues Basement video on Youtube.


On the Great Hall stage The Pitz play all the old rock favourites. For those looking for something different, Hoverla, a Ukrainian dance ensemble, offer displays of music and dance.
Meanwhile in the Darwin Suite, Radio Mary make their second visit of the festival. Taking over later is country/Irish entertainer Hooley.
Hoverla video on Youtube.


The Small Fakers pay tribute to the music of classic pop band The Small Faces. The band features Matt Bond, who has an uncanny resemblance to Steve Marriott. Expect to hear songs such as All or Nothing and Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon.
The Pitz, a foursome playing acoustic rock, kick off the party at 8pm.

Small Fakers video on Youtube.

On the Darwin stage Me Vengo, fronted by Lauren Strange, play various covers of classics hits from the likes of Metallica, Whitesnake, Meatloaf and U2.
Me Vengo video on Youtube.


Bluestown will give visitors the best of R&B with the help of a few guests.

Here is the Cider and Perry list for the 2012 Derby Summer Beer Festival. If you are looking for the beer list see the PDF link nearthe admission prices.

Ciders in the Great Hall:
Biddenden Kentish Strong Ashford, Kent Med Sweet 8.0%
Clear, very pale, made from local culinary fruit

Burrow Hill Somerset Medium 6.0%
Mid-brown fruity cider. 3rd in the CAMRA National Championship 2012

Charnwood Leicestershire Med Dry 6.5%
A full flavoured cider from a very small, near local, producer

Cornish Orchards Liskeard Med Sweet 6.0%
Clear, oak matured cider. 1st place in the National Championships 2012

Farmers Fear, Leicestershire Medium 6.5%
A pale,fruity cider with a slight sparkle. New to the festival

Gwatkin’s Yarlington Mill Herefordshire Med Sweet 7.5%
A single apple variety, dark brown, bursting with flavour

Hecks Kingston Black Somerset Med Sweet 7.0%
Classic single apple variety cider. CAMRA Gold award 2008

Hewitts Peterstow, Herefordshire Medium Dry 6.5%
A small, traditional cider maker using local fruit

Naish West Pennard, Somerset Dry 6.0%
Somerset farm cider as it was 50 years ago, untouched by progress

Perry Brothers Dowlish Wake, Somerset Med Sweet 6.0%
Clear, smooth cider. 2nd in the National Championships 2012

Rathays Old Goat Herefordshire Medium 7.0%
Uses own orchard apples, planted by Bulmers in the 1960s

Ross Cider & Perry Co Herefordshire Medium 6.5%
Award- winning cider from a winner of CAMRA’s Pomona Award

Sheppys Bradford-on-Tone, Somerset Med Sweet 6.0%
Pale, fruity, easy-drinking cider from producer on Devon Border

Spencer & Haspel Ockbrook, Derbyshire Dry 8.4%
New cider producer using all local fruit, fresh tasting with quite a bite

Swallowfields Herefordshire Medium 6.5%
Pale and fruity from a fast growing cider maker using local fruit

Thatcher’s Heritage Sandford, Somerset Med Sweet 4.9%
Light and quaffable, from one of the biggest cider makers in the UK

Three Cats Morley, Derbyshire Sweet 6.7%
Pale, sweet and with a slight sparkle, made with 100% local apples

Trickys Churchinford Somerset Medium 6.5%
A mid-brown, well balanced cider.

Westons Old Rosie Herefordshire Medium 7.3%
Cloudy, ever popular cider from a very larger cider maker

Winkleigh Sams Devon Sweet 6.0%
A clear, easy drinking cider with a slight sparkle

Wiscombe Suicider Colyton, Devon Med Dry 8.0%
A dark, full bodied cider fermented in a rum cask

Ciders in the Darwin Suite:
Double Vision Maidstone, Kent Med Sweet 7.4%
A clear, mellow Eastern Counties cider

Gwynt y Ddraig Dog Dancer Glamorgan Medium 6.5%
A light brown, full flavoured cider from Wales’s largest cider maker

Hecks Port Wine of Glastonbury Somerset Med Sweet 6.5%
A single apple variety cider, pinkish and delicate

Malvern Magic Ledbury, Herefordshire Med Dry 6.0%
Mid-brown cider with a bit of bite and a strong finish

Ralphs New Radnor, Mid Wales Med Sweet 7.0%
Fruity cider made on a working farm on the Welsh border

Rich Somerset Sweet 6.0%
A smooth easy-drinking cider from a long established cider maker

Westcroft Janet’s Jungle Juice Somerset Medium 6.0%
A classic and highly popular Somerset farm cider

Perries in the Great Hall:
Broadoak Clutton, Somerset Sweet 7.5%
A smooth, sweet and highly quaffable perry

Butford Organics Herefordshire Med Dry 6.5%
A rich, fruity perry. 2nd in the National Championships 2012

Day’s Cottage Brookthorpe, Glos Medium 6.5%
Perry from a fruit grower specializing in old apple / pear varieties

Double Vision Impaired Vision Kent Med Sweet 7.4%
Very pale, easy drinking and deceptively strong

Gwynt y Ddraig Pider Glamorgan Medium 5.5%
A rare drink, apple and pear juice fermented together

Gwatkins Blakeney Red Herefordshire Med Sweet 7.5%
Pale, hazy full-flavoured with a lingering aftertaste

Olivers Herefordshire Medium 6.0%
Crisp, clean perry with plenty of flavour and some bite

Ralphs New Radnor, Mid Wales Med Sweet 6.0%
Golden perry, bursting with flavour

Perries in the Darwin Suite:
Newton Court Herefordshire Med Sweet 6.0%
Slightly hazy, flavoursome perry, made from locally grown organic fruit

Ross Cider & Perry Co Herefordshire Med Dry 6.0%
Traditional cider / perry maker just outside Ross. Uses all his own fruit.

Swallowfields Painted Lady Herefordshire Med Sweet 5.5%
Made from a single pear variety, fruity with a lingering finish

By the way if you  are a cider lover and don't get a chance to goto Derby Beer Festival then goto the JD Wetherspoons Cider Festival that starts on the same day but runs to the end of July.

Enjoy !



  1. Thanks for the guide, everything I need in one place. See you there.

  2. This has to be the worst Saturday night Beer Fest I've ever attended. Hardly any Continental beers left and shut about 8pm. No Belgian beers left of the type we wanted. The food was awful, cold chips, tasteless burgers. The beers in the great hall are usually sign=posted above - no signs. alledgedly in alphabetical order, The Darwin suite also ran out of beer by 9pm. Organisation was terrible, placement of stands etc terrible.

  3. Dickie of Scropton Cider11 September 2012 at 00:25

    For some reason Scropton Cider was not listed in the program and has been omitted from this list too, although it was ordered from us around three months previously, confirmed and then delivered on the first day of set up. In the Grand Hall we had Derbyshire Dry 5.8% (A blend of dessert apples and a dash of Bramley for acidity). Also available was our popular "Doris Stokes" Medium Cider 6.3% that won the bronze award at the 2011 East Midlands Cider Competition at the Nottingham Beer Festival. A cider that "keeps your spirits up".