“There is a vibrant and emerging craft brewing community springing up around London. Brew Wharf, Dark Star, Moor Beer Company, Thornbridge, Meantime (as well as [edgy] Brew Dog in Scotland),” Bob Pease Brewers Association COO and Export Development Program director reports of the festival activities.
One small London craft brewer confided, “You all are changing the way British think about beer.”
Tuesday was the first day of the Great British Beer Festival. Admission is about $17 and gets you in the door. A $5 dollar deposit on your tasting pint glass arms festival attendees. From that point you’re on your own paying for your half or full pints. The price of the beer is based on the alcohol content of the brew, paralleling how beer is taxed in the UK. Over 500 British Cask Ales are featured.
There’s also Bieres Sans Frontières commonly called the “foreign beer bar” offering beers from around the world. Pease in his morning report to the Brewers Association describes the scene at the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program booth as “…simply over the top; crazy busy.” “The bottled beers sent over arrived in excellent condition. Close to 100 brands from 23 different American Craft Breweries are pouring like there’s no tomorrow.”
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) organizes this massive annual event. Their membership continues to increase and emphasizes the preservation of British beer heritage, particularly real ale. Overheard was a comment by one who admired American craft beer, “CAMRA protects a style of beer but does not come close to all the things the Brewers Association is doing for craft brewing.”
Read what The Independent, one of the UK’s leading national newspapers has to say. “Brewed in the USA … A new generation of American craft ales will take centre stage at next week’s Great British Beer Festival. Will Hawkes asks, what’s the secret of their success?” … In part: “The best beers in the world are being made over there,” says Alastair Hook, one of England’s most respected brewers, who runs Meantime in south London. An acknowledgement of this reality is the fact that the Great British Beer Festival (which takes place at Earl’s Court in London next week) will be offering 180 American beers this year, more than twice as many as they’ve had before…”
There is a special American craft beer tasting at the White Horse on Parson’s Green. Some 26 beers, many of which have never before been seen in the UK, will be available on draught throughout Friday 6th August at the White Horse in celebration of the vibrant American craft beer movement. Says Dan Fox, general manager of the White Horse in a press release, “We are looking to dispel the myth that American beer is all bland fizzy lager. What we have on offer this Friday is the real thing – authentic American beers brewed with passion by skilled and experienced experts to create beers of style, substance and integrity with real depth of flavour and character.”
This all making me very very thirsty. How about you? What is going to be your next beer?
Charlie Twitters at twitter.com/CharliePapazian