Berwick Food and Beer Festival is held every year, usually around the first week in September. It is held in the square of Berwick Barracks.
Berwick Barracks, built in the early 18th century are now an English Heritage property containing superb museums.
The normal entry fee to Berwick Barracks is £4.00, £3.60 for concessions. During the food festival entry to the Barracks and its museums as well as the food and beer festival is just £2, which I think is excellent value for money.
Northumberland has a tremendous amount of small food producers so the stalls were crammed around the perimeter of the barracks square, with tables and chairs in the middle area. The food stalls included artisan bakers, cheeses, preserves, meal from local farms, fish caught just a few miles away, bottled water sourced locally, vegetables grown less than ten miles away, honey and honey products from the local Chain Bridge Honey Farm, eggs, local ice cream, lemonade, even Northumbrian Tea, the list being endless
Local restaurants had take away stalls so a delicious aroma of cooking filled the air. Seating and tables in the central area accommodated people enjoying restaurant meals at a much lower price than charged in the restaurant
A folk band played throughout the festival and some visitors danced to the music!
A ground floor kitchen in the barracks was used for Cookery Demonstrations. Here there were a variety of different types of cookery demonstrations, from local chefs to food producers, such as beef farms showing how to prepare meat to cook and demonstrating recipes for their foods. The local food bank also ran a demonstration showing people how to make a nutritious meal from the usual type of products found in a food box from the food bank. Films were shown on food production and cooking by the Slow Food organisation.
The Beer Festival, housed in tents on a grassy area opposite the barracks had a selection of beers produced in Northern England and The Scottish Borders. Many micro breweries have sprung up in the area and it gave them the opportunity to exhibit their products. Locally produced wines, spirits and liqueur were also available.
A free tour of the Barracks was included. Three main museums are contained within the Barracks. These being The Kings Own Scottish Borderers Museum. The Berwick Borough Museum and The Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery. For more information on Berwick Barracks Museum I have written a separate review – Berwick Barracks Museum.
Good Car parking is available almost opposite the Barracks in a council car park.
The Berwick Barracks adjoin the medieval town walls which can be walked around. The walk provides an interesting insight into the history of Berwick Upon Tweed and outstanding coastal, river and town views.