All Hail the Ale!18th July 2023

This coming weekend, 21-23 July, our beer festival returns with the added support of CAMRA for the first time since 2019. The festival organising team have made some changes to the arrangements for this year which we’re all very excited about.

Real Ale and Steam train

Introducing the cask chalet & keg shed at Ongar.

This year will see additional bars in place at Ongar station – the cask chalet will host up to 12 cask real ales and the keg shed will pour up to 8 craft beers. With a frequent train service, new covered space and the spacious picnic area, Ongar is now somewhere to spend an hour or two.


On board the trains

On the train side of things, two train operation continues later into the day to allow people more time to enjoy travelling being the heritage steam and diesel locomotives with a pint in hand – our on-train bars are boosted to serve up to 8 beers each this year, along with cider. Additionally, our class 20 locomotive D8001 (20 001) returns to traffic working its first trains since September 2022. During 2020 and 2021, this engine went through an overhaul which has seen it return to it’s original 1957 colour scheme of all over green.

Class 20 locomotive 20001


Evening Fares option

Lastly, for the first time we are selling evening fares online. Valid on the trains and buses after we would normally finish service around 5pm, if you want to grab yourself a bargain these tickets include are priced at just £10. All day fares are valid into the evening too – so which make them excellent value.

Buy your tickets now!


Evening Real Ale Trains

Can’t make the festival? We have two ale trains later this year!

Our programme of regular ale trains continues, next departing on 5 August. For this event, our beer is planned to come from New River brewery near Hoddesdon. Later in the year on 23 September our ale train finale rounds off the year.

Find out more about our evening Real Ale trains.