The Campaign for Real Ale will once again partner with British brewers to help beer and cider lovers learn more about their favourite drink at CAMRA festivals around the country. 

The Discovery Zones, which debuted last year, give festival-goers the chance to meet local brewers, sample comparative beer and ciders to calibrate their senses, and explore fresh brewing and cider-making ingredients.

The programme was heralded as a great success in 2019, with seven festivals taking part in the pilot and 45 brewers lending their time. The Discovery Zones also provided space for talks and panel sessions, curated by the likes of award-winning beer writer and broadcaster Emma Inch, and cider educator Gabe Cook, as well as collaborations with not-for-profit organisations such as the LGBTQ+ Queer Brewing Project.  

Learning and discovery manager, Alex Metcalfe, said: “I think the most important take-away from last year is that the sky is the limit. From running a Re-Think Cider event in Manchester to delving into issues around gender and equality in Cambridge, there is a real thirst for greater knowledge and discourse about the beer and cider industry.   

“There are no stupid questions at our Discovery Zones. Each event is run by both volunteers and expert brewers, and we all learn a lot from whoever turns up on the day — it’s very much a two-way process. That’s why I’m so excited to see so many festivals take the initiative forward in 2020.”

2020 festivals featuring Discovery Zones

  • Thanet Easter Beer Festival (April 10-11l) 
  • Great Welsh Beer Festival (April 22-25)
  • Belfast Beer & Cider Festival (May 6-9)
  • Cambridge Beer Festival (May 18-23) 
  • Chelmsford Summer Beer and Cider Festival (July 7-11)
  • Great British Beer Festival (August 4-8)  
  • St Albans Beer & Cider Festival (September 23-26) 
  • Ayrshire Real Ale Festival (October 1-3) 
  • Nottingham Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival (October 7-10) 
  • BBC Good Food Show (November 26-29) 

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