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Top 5 Craft Beers to Try at this Year's Derby CAMRA Winter Ale Festival

20th January 2020

It’s that time of year to banish the winter blues and head to Derby for one of the best beer festivals in the calendar year.

The ever popular Derby CAMRA Winter Ale Festival returns next month running from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 February 2020 and promises another fantastic event for beer fans across the UK and beyond. 

In the run up to this year’s festival, we’d like to highlight some of the craft beer delights available, giving you a glimpse of just some of the highlights from the hundreds of beers in store.

1. Tzara by Thornbridge


Style: Kolsch

Country of Origin: UK

Brewery: Thornbridge Brewery, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Vegan: No

ABV: 4.8%

First up is this refreshing Kolsch beer from the Thornbridge gang. This German-style number, inspired by traditional tipples from the Rhineland city of Cologne, offers the crisp refreshment of a cold lager with the wholesome taste you’d expect from an ale. Voted Best Kolsch Ale in Europe at the 2013 World Beer Awards. Prost!

2. La Federal by Cierzo


Style: Porter

Country of Origin: Spain

Brewery: Cierzo Brewing Co.

Vegan: Yes

ABV: 5.5%

You won’t forget your first taste of La Federal by Cierzo Brewing Co. Its complex mix of sweet and spicy notes with chocolate and roasted oat malts makes for a compelling choice at this year’s festival. Brewed with Pasilla, Ancho and Arbol varieties of chilli pepper for an intense mix of spice and flavour, you won’t want to miss this one.

3. Caribbean White Chocolate Cake by Siren


Style: Stout

Country of Origin: UK

Brewery: Siren Craft Brew, Berkshire

Vegan: No

ABV: 7.4%

A white stout?! Yes, you heard that right. Be sure to try this curious concoction from the brewers at Siren, fresh off the back of a Supreme Champion Beer of Britain award from CAMRA in 2018. With a strong palate of white chocolate, vanilla, cacao nibs, husks and Cypress wood, this beer promises to be one of the more obscure selections at this year’s festival.

4. Forbidden Wizards by Neon Raptor x Voodoo Brewery


Style: Stout

Country of Origin: UK/US

Brewery: Neon Raptor Brewing Co., Nottingham; Vodoo Brewery, Pennsylvania, US

Vegan: Yes

ABV: 12%

Try this sleek Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout, a collaboration between Nottingham-based craft beer maestros Neon Raptor Brewing Co and stout-specialists Voodoo Brewery from Pennsylvania in the US. With a heavy dose of cacao and coffee from local vendors, expect a rich palate with fresh and flavoursome notes.

5. I'm Spartacus by Torrside Brewing


Style: IPA

Country of Origin: UK

Brewery: Torrside Brewing, Derbyshire

Vegan: Yes

ABV: 6%

Get a load of this big and fruity IPA from the team at Torrside based up at New Mills in the beautiful Peak District. This naturally hazy American-style IPA is packed with Simcoe hops for maximum flavour. A balanced mix of all the things that make a great IPA: dryness, fruitiness and bitterness. 100% Vegan.


Don't forget to enter our Derby beer break competition for your chance to win:

We hope you enjoyed the countdown of our favourite craft beers from the upcoming Derby CAMRA Winter Ale Festival. Visit the Festival page to find out more and plan your trip to Derby this February!

Thoughts? Join in the conversation on Twitter at @DerbyBeer using #DerbyCAMRAFest