Raise a glass to the return of the Ipswich Beer and Cider Festival

After an eight-year absence, our head brewer Rob, is bringing back the Ipswich Beer and Cider Festival to the town. Taking over St Clement’s Church from Thursday 27 July through to Sunday 30 July, The Ipswich Beer and Cider Festival will feature more than 100 real ales, craft beers and ciders from both local and national brewers to tempt your tastebuds in a celebration of the best of brewing.

Suffolk and the surrounding counties have an abundance of fabulous independent brewers just waiting to be discovered, and our aim is to bring as much as these brewer’s beers as possible to the festival. Beer lovers will be introduced to styles of beers not always available in your local pub and all of this can be enjoyed in the company of friends, families and brewing aficionados.

The event has been organised by our head brewer at the Briarbank, Rob, in association with CAMRA, and will be the 33rd iteration of the festival.

Commenting on the festival, Rob said, I’m excited to be bringing back the beer and cider festival to Ipswich. It’s an event I used to attend back in the day and something that started my own passion for brewing. “I’ve been speaking to CAMRA about bringing the festival back for a while, and 2023 felt like the right year to do it.”

The aim of the festival is simple: to showcase the very best of brewery offerings and allow visitors the opportunity to sample, discover and enjoy the very best craft beers, real ales and ciders.
There promises to be a lengthy and diverse list of beers on offer, ensuring everyone is catered for.
Of course, we will be showcasing some of our Briarbank beer, alongside carefully selected offerings from across the country.

Already confirming its spot at the festival is Suffolk brewers, Artefact Brewing. The Ixworth-based company will be bringing along four of its beers: Ixworth Blonde; Session Pale; Amber Haze; and kegs of Hibiscus Blonde.

Securing Artefact was a no-brainer for Rob, who is organising the festival. Not only is he a huge fan but he’s also collaborated with Artefact’s head brewer James on a brew: The Passion Project.
Artefact will be joined by another favourite of Rob’s in the form of Grain Brewery. Based in Harleston, Norfolk, Grain’s took over the Spread Eagle in Ipswich, which is where Rob got his first taste of Grain’s beers.

We’ve yet to confirm the beers Grain’s will be bringing along to the festival, but Rob is hoping for Slate – a smoked porter with numerous awards to its name.

And the Ipswich Beer and Cider Festival just wouldn’t be complete without Burnt Mill Brewery in attendance. The Stowmarket craft beer brewer will be on hand with some of its unfiltered pale beers and an exciting collection of beers for visitors to try.

More breweries will be announced soon with Rob revealing who will be showcasing their beers over on the Ipswich beer and Cider Festival Facebook and Instagram accounts. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out on who will be bringing what drinks so you can start to plan your drinking itinerary.

Tickets can be purchased from www.ipswichbeerandciderfestival.co.uk. You have until 30 June to take advantage of early bird prices: day tickets: £7 (£10 from 1 July); weekend tickets: £15 (£20 from 1 July); and beer tokens: £9 for £10s worth (£10 from 1 July).

Your ticket to the Ipswich Beer and Cider Festival includes entry to the event plus a festival glass and brochure. Beer tokens will be available to buy before the event or on the day and there will also be a cash bar serving soft drinks and a selection of spirits.