National Winter Ales Festival

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The 2008 National Winter Ales Festival at New Century Hall, Manchester
The 2011 National Winter Ales Festival at The Venue, Manchester

The National Winter Ales Festival (often shortened to NWAF) is a yearly event organized by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The purpose of the event is to showcase the best real ales available in the UK in the winter months (for example stouts and porters). It was first held in 1997 to give more exposure to these styles of beer as they are often not available during the summer when its sister festival, the larger Great British Beer Festival, is held. NWAF is also home to the Champion Winter Beer of Britain awards.

Host city and date[edit]

The festival is generally held in January or February of each year; however there were two festivals in 1997, one at each end of the year. The first one gave the awards for 1996/7 and the second for 1997/8; there was no festival in 1998.

While the summer event has been exclusive to London since 1991, the National Winter Ales Festival moves between host cities, allocated on 3-year cycle. Branches of CAMRA around the United Kingdom bid for the event. Derby was the host city for 2014 to 2016 where the event was held at the Roundhouse. The final Derby festival drew 13,832 attendees, the largest of the events history.[1] They drank a combined 57,000 pints of the 470 beers on offer.[1]

Rob Whitmore, Branch Secretary for Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA, led the successful bid from Norwichwill host the national event from Feb 2017 and for years 2018 and 2019. The 2017 event will be held at the Halls, a medieval halls complex in Norwich consisting of St Andrews Hall and Blackfriars Hall.


  • 1997 (Winter 1996/97) - Old Fruit Market, Glasgow
  • 1997 (Winter 1997/98) - Old Fruit Market, Glasgow
  • 1999 - Upper Campfield Market, Manchester
  • 2000 - Upper Campfield Market, Manchester
  • 2001 - Upper Campfield Market, Manchester
  • 2002 - Upper Campfield Market, Manchester
  • 2003 - Old Town Hall, Burton-on-Trent
  • 2004 - Old Town Hall, Burton on Trent
  • 2005 - New Century Hall, Manchester
  • 2006 - New Century Hall, Manchester
  • 2007 - New Century Hall, Manchester
  • 2008 - New Century Hall, Manchester
  • 2009 - New Century Hall, Manchester
  • 2010 - The Venue, Manchester
  • 2011 - The Venue, Manchester
  • 2013 - Sheridan Suite, Manchester
  • 2014 - The Roundhouse, Derby
  • 2015 - The Roundhouse, Derby
  • 2016 - The Roundhouse, Derby
  • 2017 - The Halls, Norwich
  • 2018 - The Halls, Norwich
  • 2019 - The Halls, Norwich


External links[edit]