Cheers! Lincoln Beer Festival 2018 preview

Lincoln’s annual beer festival is back once again, this time with over 100 real ales, 30 ciders, perries and bottles of international beers for visitors to sample.

Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the festival sees Lincoln’s Drill Hall converted into a giant pub.

The festival runs from today until May 26 and organisers expect to serve around 10,000 pints to 3500 visitors during that time.

The festival has two main aims.  For those who are regular drinkers of real ale, cider and perry, a wide range of drinks is provided. This includes drinks that would not ordinarily be available in this part of the country.

For those who are not yet real ale drinkers, the festival exhibits a huge variety of styles and flavours.

Volunteer George Bowring (left) and CAMRA secretary Steve Renshaw (right) toast to the opening of this year’s Beer Festival. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It costs £3 to attend, unless you’re a CAMRA member, in which case it’s free. 

The opening times of the 2018 Lincoln Beer Festival are:

Thursday, May 24:

  • 12 noon – 3pm
  • 4pm – 6pm (Trade session – Invitation only)
  • 6pm – 11pm

Friday, May 25:

  • 12 noon – 11pm

Saturday, May 26:

  • 12 noon – 11pm

RAF Theme

This year the festival is based around the centenary of the RAF, and several special RAF themed ales from local breweries are available. Those include festival ale, We Salute You, a copper coloured bitter from Ferry Ales Brewery in Fiskerton.

Lauraine Compton, the Festival Organiser, said, “Lincoln has a long and distinguished association with the Royal Air Force, so it’s entirely appropriate that we celebrate the centenary at this year’s festival. And it’s great that local brewers are getting involved as well.”

“Lincoln has a long and distinguished association with the Royal Air Force, so it’s entirely appropriate that we celebrate the centenary at this year’s festival”. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Live Music

Alongside the impressively large range of real ale on offer, festival goers are also treated to a range of live acts.

Local performers are showcased alongside better known national talent.

The live music line up for this year includes:

Thursday evening:

  • On Thursday evening, festival regular, Dave Mallett, takes to the piano.

Friday evening:

  • Veteran Lincoln musicians, The Stand In Blues Band, promise an evening of “lazy, democratic blues” on Friday.

Saturday Lunchtime:

  • With a sound compared to Ed Sheeran and The Script, Saturday’s programme starts at lunchtime with singer/songwriter Ant Macandrew.

Saturday Evening:

  • Pint-sized, powerhouse singer/songwriter, Cherry Lee Mewis, returns with her band. She is a regular on the BBC Radio 2 Blues Show, and is championed by the likes of Imelda May.
  • ‘Festival Favourites’ The Activators, a unique 11-piece band originating from Lincoln will round off the entertainment. The band is known for an eclectic mix of ska, reggae, Celtic, punk and dub, and even venturing into Balkan folk and tango and has appeared at Glastonbury and Boomtown Festivals.