Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a first time visitor to the Isle of Man Beer Festival?  Are you a first time visitor to any beer festival?  Hopefully, we should be able to answer your questions below.

If not – get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or our Contact form, and we will do our best to help.

How do I get a ticket?

Tickets are available to purchase from the Villa Marina, Welcome Centre or online at usually after February.  We cannot guarantee there will be no queues, but we will make every effort to get everyone in, you may need to bear with us during the busy times.

To make absolutely sure that holders of pre-paid tickets are guaranteed entry to the Festival, we have limited the sale of these to 300 tickets per session. If your application for pre-paid tickets is refused it is simply because this limit has been reached and your tickets will need to be purchased at the door in the normal manner. We are confident that doing this will allow everyone to enjoy the Festival without undue queuing. The size of the Villa Marina’s Royal Hall should be more than sufficient to accommodate all who wish to attend.

Please remember that Friday evenings at Beer Festivals across the British Isles are always by far the busiest, so it might be worth considering coming along at a different time if you prefer a less crowded atmosphere. Also, for those not already aware, our peak entry times on a Friday evening are normally 5:30pm to 7:00pm.  We will endeavour to keep all queues to a minimum, but once we reach fire capacity, we will operate a one in, one out policy.  Once again, this should only be at busy times.

When are the opening times?

Sessions will be the same as previous years.  Thursday will be a CAMRA members and trade session from 14:00 until 17:00.  We will then open to the general public until 23:00, with tickets at £6 per person.  Friday and Saturday we open from 12:00 until 23:00. Tickets for Saturday are £4 all day

Why do I have to pay to get in?

There are various costs which we have in running a festival, from hiring the venue (we need a room for 8 days to build the stillage, bar bring the casks in, let them settle before we even open!), to bringing in some of the kit and equipment, including transport costs to the Isle of Man.  This year we need to transport over 15 pallets of materials, such as handpumps and glasses.

How do I pay for the beer?

We operate a cashless bar, meaning you will pay for your beer by tokens. These are purchased in the main entrance to the Villa and at the members desk, and are available in £5 strips.  All unused tokens can be carried forward to any other session, or redeemed prior to leaving.

Is there a cash machine onsite?

No – but you can pay by card.  The nearest cash machine is located in Strand Street at the HSBC (approximately 5 minutes walk)

What do I do when I get in?

Glasses can be hired for a fee upon arrival.  This is a special festival glass which is lined in third, half and pint measures (typically, glasses in the pub are not lined, and a full pint is to the rim).  You pay a deposit for the glass which can be fully refunded when leaving the festival – if you would like to keep it as a souvenir, you can take it home too!

Where are the beers?

All beers will be available in the Royal Hall.  A programme with tasting notes will be available giving you an idea of whereabouts the beers are.

Where is the food?

Food will be available in the bar adjacent to the Royal Hall throughout the festival.  More details will be made available nearer the time.

And the Music?

Due to space requirements, we are unable to have any music this year – instead we will have more space for beer!  

How do I choose the beer?

If in doubt, ask a volunteer behind the bar – they will try to direct you.  Beers are available in 1/3, 1/2 and 1 pint measures, all in our special lined glasses.  An indicator of the colour/type is shown on the end of the cask, but our volunteers are always willing to help.  To help you choose, we can always provide a small taster before you commit to purchasing.

Are under 18’s allowed into the beer festival?

Children are allowed in the grounds of the Villa Marina, however are not allowed into the Royal Hall.

Where else can I drink beer on the Isle of Man?

If you want to visit the Isle of Man, we recommend visiting where all the pubs on the Isle of Man are listed.