Like beer? And socialising? Then get ready for the Stevenage beer festival!

Jon Kirby, Festival Organiser, Mayor Howard Burrell and Gill Richardson, Chairman CAMRA North Herts

Jon Kirby, Festival Organiser, Mayor Howard Burrell and Gill Richardson, Chairman CAMRA North Herts - Credit: Archant

Lovers of real ale will be over the moon to hear the finishing touches are being made to the 2017 Stevenage Winter Beer & Cider Festival, after the success of last year’s inaugural event.

The Camra North Herts festival returns to Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, with the first pints for thirsty punters being poured next Thursday, February 2.

Barrels are already being stacked for the three-day event, which runs until 11pm on Saturday, February 4, to provide 78 ales, ciders, craft and international beers – two more than last year.

The beers have all been carefully selected by Camra North Herts which was pleasantly surprised at the large number of ale aficionados attending in 2016 after many years of running successful events in Hitchin as well as Letchworth, which was last held in 2012.

Festival organiser Jon Kirby said: “We were really pleased with how things went last year, and hoping that this year will be even better – we are all hoping for a really good weekend.

“Our Camra volunteers will be available throughout the weekend to provide all customers with their expert knowledge of the beers and ciders. It’s an appreciation of fine beer and fine ale.

“Stevenage hasn’t got the beer heritage of Baldock or Hitchin but it’s got a lot of people, so the aim is to bring some real beer to the people of Stevenage.”

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Passionate Jon has stated the aim – as always – is to drink the leisure centre in Lytton Way dry by the time last orders is called on the Saturday night.

He, and the vast army of helpful and knowledgeable Camra volunteers who are running the festival, hope the second Stevenage festival can top last year’s first effort and help it embed itself as an much-awaited fixture in the town’s social calendar.

Entry is £3 or free for Camra members. The event runs from 5pm to 11pm on Thursday, February 2, and from 12 noon to 11pm on both Friday and Saturday, February 3 and February 4.

For more information, including what beers are on offer, visit