July 24th, 2017

Roll out the barrel again for the steam and diesel trains

Real Ale Festival with Steam Trains

Real Ale Festival with added steam trains!

The Epping Ongar Railway presents over 70 beers at its summer festival this weekend to celebrate 60 years since the tube train first trundled through the Essex countryside.

What could be a better setting for a good ale than a panoramic view of the rolling hills and unique woodlands of Epping Forest?  From the 28th to 30th of July, North Weald station and the heritage trains of the Epping Ongar Railway will again ring out to the sound of clinking glasses.  The 5th beer festival is planned to be the biggest and the best yet.  What’s more, with regular and direct vintage bus services from Epping Underground and Shenfield National Rail, the festival is one of the most accessible rail ale festivals near London.

Live music

Live music onboard the train

A year in the planning

The team started planning once the 83 casks from their 2016 festival had all been collected. Taking inspiration from the 60th anniversary of the first tube train arriving in Ongar, beers with connections to Essex and London will feature heavily, including some brewed especially for the event. Once again in the evenings, the hills will come alive with the sound of music, including at least one dedicated music train each night. A full list of all the beer, cider, food and soft drinks on offer will be published on the railway’s website in advance.

Tutored Tasting

New for this year we will be offering tutored tasting sessions on the Friday of the event. A tutored beer tasting in the company of an expert is a great way of enhancing your appreciation of beer, discovering more about the astonishing range of beer styles, flavours and aromas; how brewers conjure such diversity from simple ingredients and how to match beer with food. Each participant will get to sample and learn about six different beers, especially selected from those available at the festival, whilst travelling through the glorious Essex countryside.

As usual, the funds raised will be ploughed into supporting the operation and maintenance of the classic trains, some of which are now approaching 100 years old. Additionally, the festival will be supporting locally based charity Canalability, which organises broadbeam canal boat experiences for disabled and disadvantaged people.


For further information and to book tickets, take a look at www.eorailway.co.uk