2019 Beer Festival

This years festival has been moved to a new venue in Halifax – The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough. We have now learned that budget approval has been given. The beers are being sourced and this year we hope to increase the range and variety of ciders too!

We are looking forward to bringing you the same friendly festival as before but in a different environment.

Unfortunately, only assistance dogs are allowed into the festival. 


We would like to thank the following breweries for providing a complimentary cask for the festival: – Bingley Brewery, Elland Brewery, Nightjar Brew Co, Stod Fold Brewing Company and Vocation Brewery.

There are 58 beers in total and 47 breweries are represented. 19 beers will be served from, and have been matured in, wooden casks (13 in 9 or 11 or 12 gallon casks and 6 in 4.5 gallon pins or 6 gallon half anchors). In addition there are 39 non-wooden casks. All stouts and porters and some other stronger ales have also been matured in their respective casks. Ales from breweries and straight to your mouth!


We are hoping that there will be no cancellations or last minute changes.

After four years in Hebden Bridge, the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival returns to Halifax this year and has become bigger and better than ever. The new venue, The Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax, is a much larger venue and offers seating in the old and unusual Viaduct Theatre itself, a more modern adjoining room and the Viaduct Courtyard.

There will be in excess of 50 beers on offer with most coming from breweries in Yorkshire and Lancashire, but some will come from much further afield. One section of the bar will be completely devoted to wooden cask beers with 12 larger 9 to 11 gallon casks and an additional 5-6 smaller wooden casks containing higher ABV ales. These beers will be casked by experts, will include some incredibly rare ales and some beers have been commissioned by the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival Organising Team.

In addition, there will be another bar of 38 beers in normal casks including ales from new breweries, old classics and at least one cask from every Halifax and Calderdale registered brewery. Beers will be available in a wide range of styles; gluten free, vegan and vegetarian beers will be available and all beers will be ordered from breweries only. There will be no agency ales at this festival.

This year there will also be more ciders and perries on offer on our Cider Bar, with some being ordered from local producers as well as those ordered from more traditional cider and perry producing areas of the UK. Beers, ciders and perries will be priced in line with prices in local pubs and bars and payment will be via tokens which can be only purchased in the venue. These tokens are fully refundable if they are not spent. As well as beer, cider and perry, customers will also be able to purchase gin and a range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from the Viaduct Bars.

This year, by popular demand, we invite back Foras Bars Limited from Todmorden who will provide a range of wholesome meals at affordable prices and these will be available until 9pm every evening. There will also be the opportunity to purchase snack type foods, such as crisps, nuts etcetera, from a locally-based trader. Purchases from the Viaduct Bars and all food items will be payable by cash. The Viaduct Bars will also accept card payments.

Last year saw the introduction of Talks and Tastings which proved extremely popular and these have been extended this year. Tutored Beer Tasting will be led by Richard Lee, a qualified tasting panel trainer and a member of the Champion Beer of Britain Tasting Panel, whilst Tutored Cider and Perry Tasting will be led by the well-known local figure of Ian Priddey, a cider and perry producer, hop grower and home brewer.

The interactive talks will be delivered by the ever popular Kirsty Walker, writer of the increasingly influential blog ‘Lady Sinks The Booze’ and successful speaker at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival in January and Chris Dyson whose blog ‘Real Ale, Real Music’ is an appreciation of both, and is a regular attendee at both local & national music venues watching up and coming bands as well as established ones. Chris has an excellent knowledge of local pubs and real ale.

Entry to the Talks and Tastings is completely free, but advance tickets must be obtained via the Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA website. 

The Beer, Cider and Perry lists will be posted on our website approximately two weeks before the festival. 

Don’t miss the 2019 Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival. Add the dates to your diary now!

About the CAMRA Halifax & Calderdale branch

The Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival is organised and run by the volunteers of the CAMRA Halifax and Calderdale Branch. This is the 27th festival organised by the Branch and it has been held in a variety of venues and in a range of different months over the years. This is the fourth successive year that the festival will be held in the last week in September and the festival returns to Halifax this year after a four year absence, being held at Hebden Bridge Town Hall from 2015 to 2018.

The Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival is one of only three West Yorkshire CAMRA festivals that survive, the others being Bradford CAMRA Festival held at Victoria Hall, Saltaire in February/March and Leeds CAMRA Festival held at Leeds Beckett Student Union in June.

Halifax & Calderdale CAMRA works hard to deliver a successful festival and part of this is choosing a charity as a beneficiary. This year the charity we have chosen is Calderdale Industrial Museum and we thank our brewers and sponsors for providing brewery-related items for sale at our festival. In addition we ask customers to donate unused beer tokens to enhance the sponsorship raised. Over the past two years CAMRA Halifax & Calderdale has successfully raised thousands of pounds for our chosen, local charities.

Talks & Tastings 2019

Halifax & Calderdale CAMRA is delighted to bring back another varied programme of educational and thought provoking events to our Festival on Saturday 28th September.

We have increased the tasting sessions to hold one on beer and one on cider/perry. Both are based around a selection of ales, ciders and perries available at the festival. Beer is hosted once again by Richard Lee, Branch Chair and Chair of the CAMRA Tasting Panel, and cider/perry, by our cider/perry expert Ian Priddey who not only talks about cider/perry but also makes cider from his home grown apples and perry from home grown pears.

We are also very pleased to welcome to our Festival, to give an overview of CAMRA and Cider, the Yorkshire Regional Cider Co-ordinator, Christine Jane.

We are holding two talks by experienced beer bloggers and we extend a warm welcome back to Kirsty Walker of Lady Sinks The Booze who in January gave a talk at the Manchester Beer & Cider Festival on beer and biscuits and runs her own beer festival in Runcorn, Cheshire. We are also pleased to welcome, for the first time, Chris Dyson. whose blog ‘Real Ale, Real Music’ is an appreciation of, well, real ale and real music.

These sessions come out of a desire by the Beer and Cider Festival Steering Committee to make our festival offer experiences that are normally only available at the larger festivals and to educate customers. We spend a great deal of time and effort in selecting beers, but want to improve on our festival in ways that enhance its theme of being the friendly festival.

These events will be held in the Rehearsal Room, a small, cosy and appropriate room, and consequently we have to limit numbers. Yet again, however, we have made these sessions free of charge. We do ask people to apply for tickets in advance through our website or by emailing talksandtastings@hxcalderdalecamra.org.uk because the available places for each event are offered on a first come, first served, basis. Please ask at the membership stall if any places are still available.

Kirsty Walker

Back for the second year Kirsty (Beer & Wordsmithery) has been on sparkling form recently entertaining Manchester Beer & Cider Festival by matching beers and biscuits as well as negotiating a trip to Alcudia where everything from Mallorcan craft ale to a pint of Mojito in a Magner’s glass was enthusiastically described, and drunk. Expect the unexpected with Kirsty as even her attempts to promote sensible drinking inspired a Goal Challenge Blog, but then her team spoilt it by scoring four goals! We have entitled her talk on Beer & Wordsmithery as followers of her Twitter page will know she is now a Hugo award winner.

Chris Dyson

Chris is no stranger to us but this year we have invited him to sing (well talk) for his supper. His writing appears regularly in the local PubPaper as well as online (Real Ale, Real Music). He writes on a variety of topics but always seems to come back to beer and pubs, not only connected to our branch area but also to areas further afield. Regular readers will know about his enthusiasm for music which he conveys with great style. His eye for detail is also complemented by his photographs. This year he will be entertaining the audience with his thoughts about Real Ale, Real Beer, Real Music and Real People.

Christine Jane

Christine is a member of the Bradford CAMRA and current Yorkshire Regional Cider Organiser. She is attending the Festival to help us promote cider drinking. This year has seen us take the initiative to award a Cider Pub of the Year (Calan’s in Hebden Bridge) and increase the range and variety of ciders that we offer at this festival. We are committed wholeheartedly to promoting cider (and perry) in the pubs in our area (as well as beer) and feel that we are moving in the right direction.

Schedule Saturday 28th September 2019


Rehearsal Lounge Viaduct Theatre Dean Clough

Book your tickets early or there won’t be any spaces available. It’s all FREE, but you need a ticket to get in. Email talksandtastings@hxcalderdalecamra.org.uk to reserve your ticket and do it now before it is too late!

We would like to thank all the people, from our own branch and from
others, who have volunteered to work at the Calderdale Beer and Cider
Festival 2019. We are fortunate that this year we have been
overwhelmed by applications and were fully staffed in early August. We
apologise to those who applied after the closure date and hope that
you will volunteer earlier next year.

It is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to volunteer to work at
the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival 2020 should apply in June or
July. Please note that there are only a limited edition number of volunteer
slots available and once target numbers have been reached, the
staffing is closed.

We are sorry if we have disappointed some volunteers this year, but
hope that you will visit the festival as a customer and enjoy the
excellent ales, ciders and perries on offer.

Should you be interested in volunteering for the Calderdale Beer and
Cider Festival 2020 please email the following address staffing@hxcalderdalecamra.org.uk