Top tips: considerations for your beer festival

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Get ahead: a beer festival may entail more legal work
Get ahead: a beer festival may entail more legal work

Related tags: Licence, Public house

What extra legal work could holding a beer festival at your pub entail?

Beer festivals have become extremely popular in recent times. It may be that you are considering running an event such as a beer or food festival to boost trade and attract custom and, while such an event is a fantastic way of doing this, it needs careful consideration and planning to ensure that everything runs smoothly and without issue on the day (or afterwards).

I thought it would be useful to provide some tips on the things to consider when making the decision to hold such an event:

Licensing ​– is the area you are using already licensed or do you need to apply for a premises licence or temporary event notices? If the area is already licensed, you should review the licence to ensure there are no restrictions that will prevent you doing what you want to do.

Noise ​– if there are going to be large numbers of people, or music and entertainment, perhaps in an outside space or marquee, then you will need to consider how you are going to manage the noise from the event. It may be worthwhile speaking to an environmental health officer for advice and to ensure they are ‘onside’ before the event takes place. It is important to remember they have the power to immediately close down the festival if there is too much noise. If you are in a residential area, speak to the residents so they are aware of what is happening – they are less likely to be concerned if they know the details.

Risk assessments ​– prior to the event, you should ensure the necessary risk assessments have been carried out, including health and safety, fire risk and noise risk to ensure that event can go ahead without issue. These also may form part of any licensing application.

Staffing ​– you should consider extra staff /security to deal with the additional customers and ensure the event runs smoothly. If you are allowing external companies/staff to sell their alcohol under the authorisation of your premises licence then you need to ensure all staff are appropriately trained as you as the premises licence holder could be prosecuted for underage sales.

Measures ​– it is likely that you will be promoting a wide range of beers/ciders with varying ABVs so measures should be a consideration – especially because customers are likely to want to try as many different products as possible. You could have promotional glasses for the event that allow them to be served in thirds and halves rather than the standard halves or pints.

This is not an exhaustive list, simply the key points, and other considerations may include whether you ticket the event, your food offerings and whether you will accept cash on the day or run some sort of token scheme, for example.

For any legal enquiries please visit Poppleston Allen's website​.

Related topics: Licensing law

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