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Real Ale Trails

Explore the Real Ale Trails to discover some of Stratford's most beautiful locations and exceptional pubs. Stratford is a real ale lovers’ paradise full of pubs rich in charm and tradition. Come and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and character by the barrelful! 

Tickets can be reserved one month before the festival on this website. A limited number of tickets will on sale on the day of the trail on a first come first served basis.

The trail runs over the festival weekend - Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September between Midday and 4pm.

The trails are running on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September between Midday and 8pm.

Expect to visit approximately nine town centre hostelries. 2017's taste trails included:  Cox's Yard, Swans Café at Swan Theatre, Stratford Alehouse, The Bear Freehouse, The Dirty Duck, The Garrick Inn, The Golden Bee, The Lamplighter,The Old Thatch Tavern, The One Elm, Townhouse and the Union Bar. 

Trails may be different on each day.

How much?
£5 per ticket. 

What’s involved?
You will receive a souvenir Festival Ale Trail glass (1/3 pint), and a ticket which includes a map of the Real Ale Trail with a list of ales and descriptions. Then stroll through town and sample the selection on offer - you don't need to stick to the order on the map - its up to you!

Vote for your favourite Ale and you could be a winner!

What is Real Ale?

Real Ale is cask conditioned or bottle conditioned beer - after the beer has been brewed and conditioned at the brewery it is loaded into casks and sent straight to the pub. It is not filtered or pasteurised like most lagers and keg beers.  

But does it make any difference?  Yes!  Filtering removes half the flavour and taste, and pasteurising removes the other half, so lagers and keg beers have taste removed unlike real ale which is packed full.