Bryan Brown, chairman of the Friends of Abingdon Abbey Buildings Trust, sets the scene for
the Abingdon Beer Festival on 26. 27 and 28 April this year.

Abingdon Beer Festival is now in its 7th year having started in 2016 and missing the lock
down years of 2020/2021. It is organised for two main reasons, to bring people to the
medieval Abbey Buildings who may not know them and to generate some funds for these
precious and important buildings.

Pleasingly the Festival has grown year on year and it is now an established event in the
Abingdon community calendar. It is mostly staffed by very able volunteers, some 40 this year
serving beer and another 20 volunteers who guide the customers and sell the beer tokens.

However, as the Festival has grown, the costs of running it have increased, particularly the
enlarged facilities, security and the outstanding music. So, for the first time this year there
will be an entry charge to cover these costs as the charity needs to generate a contribution
towards the Building’s upkeep. This year a branded Festival beer mug will be part of the
entry charge which include the programme, excellent music from local bands and access to
the Abbey Buildings grounds. The beer as usual will be priced keenly.

Over the years the Abbey Buildings have become a key community asset, increasingly
important in a town centre serving a population of now over 40,000 people. The Buildings
contain the Unicorn, the only theatre in the town centre which is home to community
am/dram, professional music and drama, music clubs and festivals and use by many local
charities and schools.

The Abbey Buildings are also home to the Abingdon brewing tradition, beer having been
brewed and consumed at the Buildings for a thousand years. So, the Abingdon Beer Festival
is a revival of the monks many years of occupancy followed by 300 years of the Abbey

This year, 2024, also heralds a further milestone as our charitable trust celebrates its 80-
year anniversary. The Friends of Abingdon saved the Buildings from demolition in 1944 and
founded the trust that owns, maintains and cares for them on behalf of the community.

So come and celebrate with us and contribute towards Abingdon’s oldest and most
important heritage buildings by drinking beer. What a great way of helping a charity, we can’t
think of a better reason to raise a glass than joining us at the Abingdon Beer Festival.