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Derby Set for Pint-sized Fun


With a well-earned reputation as ‘the real ale capital of the world’, Derby is serving up four top treats to tempt beer lovers to visit the city this summer and autumn.

A beer bonanza from August to October sees events featuring craft ale celebrations along with the ‘ultimate combo’ Burger & Beer festival and culminating in the city’s first-ever Oktoberfest.

Derby has been described as the “best place to drink real ale in the world” and boasts of having more real ale choice than almost anywhere else, making the city a top spot for beer enthusiasts. Over the next few months, ale lovers will be spoiled for choice at upcoming events.

August Bank Holiday Beer Festival

The celebrations kick off with the August Bank Holiday Beer Festival, 24 – 28 August, at Derby’s Furnace Inn, one of the best places for real ale and craft beer in the city.

Originally the home of micro-brewery the Shiny Brewery, which has since moved to Little Eaton, on the outskirts of the city, the small onsite brewing plant now produces Furnace beers.

Each year, the pub’s free-entry festival proves a popular draw, and for 2022 drinkers can choose from more than 20 casks, 10 kegs, and eight real ciders, while a Furnace Street Food menu will also be on offer.

Derby Beer Con

Next in the line-up is Derby Beer Con 2022 (16 – 17 September), the city’s only craft beer festival, which returns for its fifth year. Staged at Bustler Street Food Market in The Chocolate Factory – a multi-events venue housed in an old chocolate factory – the event promises an epic line up of craft beers, food and music, with tickets costing from £11.

Burger & Beer Festival

For a perfect pairing of food and drink, Bustler Market will again be the setting for the third event in Derby’s beer bonanza, when the Burger & Beer Festival rolls into the city on 1 October. Offering a selection of the UK’s best burger traders as well as a host of top breweries all under one roof, this ‘ultimate combo’ will also have live music and DJs.

best festivals oktoberfest
Bringing Oktoberfest to Derby
Oktoberfest Derby 2022

A week later, visitors can experience a traditional Oktoberfest as the world-famous German ‘bier’ celebration arrives in Derby for the first time when the Chocolate Factory transforms into a traditional Bavarian bash.

In best Oktoberfest tradition, as well as plenty of ‘bier’ and steins during the festival – the equivalent of around 20,000 pints on offer – there will be German food from an outdoor food court, plus live music, from traditional folk to ‘Oompah’ bands.

Oktoberfest Derby 2022 takes place on 8 October, and advance tickets cost from £16.50/

For tourist information about Derby, see

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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