THE Woking Beer and Cider Festival returns next month with a new host and in a fresh place  in the calendar.

Phil Keith, of Epsom Events, stepped in when the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) decided not to stage the event in its traditional November slot last year after a two-year break during the pandemic. It will, however, remain  in the Leisure Centre for its two days, 21 and 22 April.

Sessions are split 1pm-5pm and 7pm-11pm on both days with tickets £9.50 per session, except for the Friday afternoon session, which is £7.  Walk-up tickets will be £20. Tickets, which are available through, include a free glass and a free pint.

Phil, who makes the point that this year’s festival is independently organised and not related to CAMRA, said: “My wife and I lived in Old Woking for a while shortly after getting married and attended the beer festival as it was and had great memories of it.

“We moved to Farnham after the birth of our first daughter, Lauren, but eventually settled in Epsom. 

“I set up Epsom Events in September 2019 and hosted Epsom's first food and drink festival, then later moved into the genre of gin and rum evenings.

“Our first event took place in Ewell the following February, with more than 350 attending and 22 craft gin and rum vendors.

“Then the pandemic hit and pretty much drove me out of business. But I decided in the fourth quarter of last year to resurrect it with an aggressive range of events across south east England.

“The Woking Gin and Rum Evening took place last October in the Wurlitzer Room at the Leisure Centre, with more than 180 people attending. We had 14 vendors and live music.

"The follow-up event, this March, had 156 people attending.

“I was determined that Woking shouldn't miss out on its Beer and Cider Festival, an event that has been long established and loved by the community.”