All aboard for Barrow Hill Roundhouse’s Rail Ale festival

Barrowhill Roundhouse. Alexa Stott marketing manager.
Barrowhill Roundhouse. Alexa Stott marketing manager.

Ambitious plans for Barrow Hill Roundhouse’s 14th annual Rail Ale Festival are going full steam ahead to make it bigger and better than ever.

The festival at the Roundhouse, on Campbell Drive, is one of the most atmospheric beer festivals and will include more than 250 real ales, a dedicated craft keg bar, 80 ciders and perries as well as a wide selection of world beers and fruit wines.

Roundhouse spokesman Alexa Stott said: “Classic steam and diesel locomotives will once again form the dramatic backdrops to the bars.”

Rail Ale 2015, which is supported by CAMRA, takes place on Thursday, May 14, from 6pm to 11pm, Friday, May 15, from noon to 11pm, and Saturday May 16, from noon to 11pm.

Well-known beer writer Roger Protz will be giving talks at trade and public sessions on May 14.

Another first for the event on May 14 will be the visit of the East Midlands Trains Fuller’s Rail Ale rail tour from London St Pancras bringing 350 revellers to the Roundhouse.

Steam trains will run until 5pm on Friday and Saturday.

Music will include New Orleans Heat Jazz Band, The Dale Storr Trio, Shaydes, Redwood and Amberjack on May 15, and Ashover Brass Band, Shaun Byrne Open Mic, Shaydes, Flint, Moore & Byrne and The Kahunas on May 16.

The Festival trade session will take place on Thursday afternoon.

For details of the festival’s free bus service from Chesterfield Railway Station and a full list of ticket outlets visit

The festival’s main sponsors are Fuller’s and Everard’s Project William and others include Batemans, Castle Rock, Marstons, and Navigation who are sponsoring the Craft Keg Bar. Others include Oakham, Osset Brewery and Titanic and Cornish Orchards who will sponsor the Cider Bar and Timothy Taylor is sponsoring the Rail Ale Steam Train.

Tickets for Rail Ale 2015 are available from a variety of places including Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre, The Arkwright Arms, The Chesterfield Arms, The Derby Tup, The Old Poet’s Corner, The Rykneld Turnpyke, Real Ale Corner and Beer Parlour.

They are also available in Derby at The Brunswick and the Alexandra and in Sheffield at the Fat Cat and Mansfield’s Hops in a Bottle and Nottingham’s Vat and Fiddle.

Tickets are available online from with a booking fee. Tickets cost £5 for the Thursday, £6.50 in advance and £8.50 on the gate for the Friday and Saturday.

Brewers, publicans and suppliers to the trade wishing to attend the trade session should email for tickets.