Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a cloakroom?
Unfortunately there is nowhere in the venue we can use as a cloakroom, sorry. If it’s raining or cold, there are usually no queues from 20-30 minutes after we open, except for short periods between about 7 and 8.30pm on Thursday and Friday night. Or you can buy Advance Tickets which allow you to skip the queue even if there is one!

Are children or dogs allowed?
The Festival is strictly over-18s, so unfortunately no, children, including babies, cannot be admitted. Only support dogs are allowed, as the venue can get quite crowded.

Will there be a Norwich Beer Festival in 2024?
A Festival at The Halls looks unlikely, as works on ancient monuments tend to overrun, and the planned end date of September 2024 is very close to the dates of the 2024 Festival. But we don’t have to make a decision until May 2024, so it is still possible.

If we can’t run the Festival at The Halls, we will look for an alternative venue, but the event may have to be significantly different to our regular festivals!

Doesn’t the Beer Festival take money away from local pubs?
We don’t believe so no. Pubs in the city centre often have their best week of trading in the whole year, as many people will come to the Festival and then visit local pubs.

Why do you charge for beer when the brewers give it to you?
The brewers don’t give us the beer, we pay the regular price for all our beer, except for beer donated to the Trade Session, where beer is free to those attending. — however, we also aim to keep our prices very competitive.

Why do you charge for admission, pubs don’t?
Sadly, we have very high overheads — paying for the hire of the hall, cask storage, transport, equipment, entertainment, etc. All these costs have to be recovered in one week, unlike a pub which is open all year. Without charging for admission we would be unable to run the festival. All admission prices have been held as low as possible, and if you join CAMRA you get free admission to all sessions.

Why do you use beer cards instead of real money on the beer and cider bars?
Beer cards make it much quicker to serve you at the bar, avoiding the problems of working out and giving change, and making life easier for our volunteer staff.

Why are there sometimes so few people serving on the bars?
All the staff working behind the bars are volunteers. Some have taken the whole week off to work at the festival, but others can only spare a few hours. As a result the number of staff available can vary quite a lot. If you’d like to help us by doing a couple of shifts – or more – particularly at the end of the week, please check our Working at the Festival page for details – you’ll be most welcome!

Do I have to be a CAMRA member to work at the festival?
No, you don’t have to be a CAMRA member to work at Norwich Beer Festival. Many CAMRA beer festivals only allow members to work there, but Norwich welcomes non-members.