Hop tips - beer festivals

Event info: there are a number of licensing factors to take into account when hosting a beer festival (image: Getty/Rouzes)
Event info: there are a number of licensing factors to take into account when hosting a beer festival (image: Getty/Rouzes)

Related tags Licensing Beer Events Poppleston allen

As the summer sun hop-fully returns again, more and more people will be venturing out to enjoy another great British pastime – beer festivals.

Currently there are more than 1,000 beer festivals around the UK, with many running throughout the summer months. As an operator you may be considering running this type of event, not only to boost trade, but to attract both existing and new customers back into your venue. 

These types of events do generally prove to be popular and so while they are a good idea to boost trade, there are a lot of things to consider to ensure that the event is well planned and goes smoothly without any issues on the day.

Therefore, below are some top tips highlighting things to consider when making the decision to hold such an event:


  • Firstly, consider what licensable activities you will be utilising throughout the event. Check whether these licensable activities are permitted and for the hours you intend to operate.  
  • If the area is not licensed, or you are looking to trade extended hours or have additional licensable activities not permitted by your licence, then you need to consider how you obtain permission. This could be by way of a new premises licence, variation to your existing premises licence or a temporary event notice.


  • You will be hoping that the event will attract a large number of customers and if you are proposing to offer music or entertainment then noise should be a key consideration – especially if the event is going to take place in an external space or marquee.
  • You should consider in advance how you are going to manage noise from the event and this could include staff regularly monitoring noise levels, dispersal of customers and ticketing the event to manage customer numbers effectively.
  • You may want to consider speaking to your local environmental health officer to discuss the event before the event takes place so they are aware and can provide any advice/recommendations. They could close down the event if there is too much noise.
  • If your premises are in a residential area, you may also want to consider speaking to the residents in advance of the event so they are aware what is happening. This will allow you to discuss any concerns they may have and perhaps invite them to the event.

Risk Assessments:

  • You should ensure that in advance of the event all relevant risk assessments have been carried out. These may include health and safety, door supervisors, fire safety and dealing with noise issues.
  • This should ensure that the event can go ahead without issue and depending on your current licensing position may also form part of a licensing application.

Staff Levels:

  • You should consider customer numbers and any additional staff that may be required for the event – both in terms of the staff serving the customers and security for the event to ensure that you have adequate numbers.
  • You may consider allowing external companies/staff to sell their alcohol at your event under the authorisation of your premises licence. If you do this then you should be careful. You need to ensure that all staff are appropriately trained as it would be you as the premises licence holder that could be prosecuted for any underage sales.

This is not a complete list, but some of the key points to consider when looking to hold such an event. Other things to consider may include how customers will pay for their drinks and the measures the drinks will be served in.

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