Archive for the ‘Beer Festivals’ Category

August went down in a jiffy.  Like a swift, gloriously satisfying cold beer after an uncomfortably sweaty walk on a summer day.

 

Like many of my fellow beer bloggers and enthusiasts, it was a hectic month with tastings, trips, tours and festivals to fit in and similarly, we all seemed determined to make the most of all the incredible opportunities to taste some great beer and mingle with like-minded individuals… or just drink as much beer as possible!

 

What I managed to squeeze into just over 2 hectic weeks:

  • Pete Brown Music and Beer Pairing
  • James Watt (Founder of Brewdog) beer tasting
  • Great British Beer Festival
  • London Beer Factory Tour and Tasting – by Indie Ales
  • Beer and Brewery Tour of East London – given by Indie Ales
  • Dress Down Thursday – Bar Takeover of Paper Dress Vintage by Indie Ales

 

I’m still not convinced of the decision to launch London Beer City in the same week as the Great British Beer Festival AND the London Craft Beer Festival but I can say it was a great occasion and a privilege to be involved.  The variety of events on offer all around London was a fantastic tribute to our beer scene which now must be considered one of the most exciting and influential in Europe.  Events were staged for all levels of interests and experience was from educational tasting sessions, to historical walking tours to the more traditional real ale events and the more hip and progressive.

 

I do love the GBBF.  I’m a big fan of real ale and love trying all the beers from smaller breweries around the country.  I spoke to a few people who were disappointed by the quality of some of the beer this year but this wasn’t obvious to me.  What really annoyed me was even by 7pm on the first day, many of the award winning or recognisable beers had gone, including 90% of all the cask ale over from the US.  I’m not sure if they were holding some back for visitors later in the week?

 

The busy schedule meant I had to bypass something this August, which was unfortunately the London Craft Beer Festival.  The feedback seems to have been hugely positive with the organisers stepping up the food offer, demonstrating beer’s awesome capacity to be paired with gourmet food and by all accounts the brewers really upped their game as well with fruit infused and barrel aged beers. These demonstrate the real leaps and bounds the beer scene is undertaking with experimentation and collaboration… pushing the boundaries of what we perceive as ‘beer’.  Gutted to miss these!

 

I read an interesting article from a food blog (http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/community/london-craft-beer-fest-review) highlighting the rightful appreciation of beer as an alternative to wine which I completely agree with:

‘People are almost looking and talking about beer like they do wine, looking at colour, smell, texture, everything. And the fact is, they want to know the story behind the beer. With the ever-increasing access to information, people want to know what goes into their food and drink, they are aware of what goes into the average can of lager and they are not prepared to put that in their bodies anymore.’

 

All these events can only help heighten the appreciation of your average beer drinker which means growing the market to encourage the great breweries we have in this country to brew even more outstanding beer.  All this fun and games is also bringing great beer to more people.  That why I initially started Indie Ales; to inspire and help people discover fantastic beer, so it’s great to see.  To steal a line from Chris Hall ‘ If you think London’s ‘beer ego’ is already so big it can be seen from space, then I’ve got bad news for you. We’re only just getting started’.

 

Charlie

 

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Next week London will be awash with beer! In an intriguing twist of fate it appears that London’s three biggest beer events have all (deliberately or not) contrived to supply us with huge quantities of great beer within a 10 day period.

I’m not totally sure how wise this will turn out to be in practice, but I guess the theory was solid. Stack the events close enough to one another to ensure that nobody will be able to leave London over the course of the period, such is the draw of fantastic beer. Or because of their hangovers. It has inevitably left me a little disappointed as I’d have liked to attend more events but there is only so much my wallet and my liver can take!

This weekend sees the start of the strangely named London Beer City, errr week. There are some great events occurring which should not be missed. I’m especially looking forward to a coffee and beer tasting on Saturday 9th August and the intriguing Beer and Music Matching evening run by legend beer writer Rick Brown on Sunday. On Monday there is the opportunity to hear James Watt give his views on the craft beer market. As the founder of Brewdog, he should have some pretty interesting things to say, possibly not all polite and well mannered.

I was also asked to help run an event at London Beer Factory on Friday evening 15th August. For £25 you get a welcome drink, tour of the brewery by the founders, a 6 beer tasting (by me), a BBQ on their outdoor terrace and a beer to enjoy it with. Sounds like a no brainer to me!

Tuesday sees the start of the worlds largest real ale festival at Olympia. The Great British Beer Festival was started in 1977 and there is no better time to attend. For only £10 entry you can taste some of the best looked after ale on the planet (you still have to pay for your drinks).

We are not stopping there either, on Thursday London Craft Beer Festival returns to the Oval Space in East London. I seriously urge you to check this out. I couldn’t make the event last year, but by all accounts they are pretty generous on the tokens and you can literally ‘try before you buy’ on all beers available. They have some pretty nifty breweries there too. The event lasts until Sunday and gives you the opportunity to really explore the best of what the London brewing scene has to offer.

I urge you too try to attend a few of the events if you can, even if you are not really a beer festival type of person. You’ll be blown away by the beer, but not only that, it is the obvious passion of the people in the industry, the collaboration amongst all the breweries with one another and the willingness and enthusiasm of everyone to help you discover new beer which makes for such a unique environment to be a part of. Please remember to follow these golden rules

It is fantastic for the industry and the consumer that all these events are happening together. It will be exhausting but I’m looking forward to learning a thing or two and hopefully making some new friends along the way.

Howdie guys.

If you missed the Independence Day tasting on 4th July or the incredible Rooftop Brewing event on 5th July then never fear as I have a feast of events coming up!

Argentinian Pizza and craft beer Supper Club
Speaking of feasts, I am shaking with excitement and incredibly lucky to be running an Argentinian Pizza and Craft Beer pairing on Thursday 24th July with Olly the singing pizza chef extraordinaire.

Say Ole to Oli from the critically acclaimed Argentinian Pizza Supper Club! This event will introduce you to some of London’s Best Craft Beers & Argentinian Empanadas, Original Pizza Recipes hand made right here in London.

The format for the evening will be as follows:
-Three (3) different Craft Beers to taste (330ml bottle)
-Three (3) different Courses
Optional Ticket Upgrade: Four (4) Craft Beers & Three (3) different Courses Plus Dessert.

http://www.edibleexperiences.com/p/17752057/Indie-Ales/320001/Argentinian-pizza-supper-club-and-craft-beer-tasting

August – London will be the beer capital of the world

In August this year, there are some mind-blowingly cool events happening in the name of celebrating beer. The countdown begins.

London Beer City August 9-16th August
Some great events this week including talks and tastings. I’m running a special event at London’s newest brewery, London Beer Factory where we will have a tour and tasting of their beer right in the belly of their beautiful brewery. Booking details to follow.
http://www.londonbeercity.com/schedule/

Great British Beer Festival 12-16th August
Established in 1977 and still going strong
http://gbbf.org.uk

Indie Ales presents “Dress Down Thursday” Thursday 21st August.
Let loose at Paper Dress Vintage in Shoreditch with craft beer and craft cocktails. So on trend. Booking details to follow.

London’s looking beautiful in the sun and it will look even better from a rooftop overlooking the city holding a crisp craft beer or refreshing cocktail!

Don’t forget to book your tickets for Rooftop Brewing on 5th July, the first release tickets have already SOLD OUT.  Think views over London, street food, live DJ’s, glorious sunshine and a big screen for the footy.  As Bar Chick put it… ‘this is going to go off like a Pitbull video’! Oh and did we mention hot tubs… we’ve got those too!

£20 which INCLUDES entry, and 8 free tokens to spend on food, beer or cocktails.  Just not on the hot tub 😉

Pick from two sessions; Boozy Brunch or Alfresco Disco.  We are trying to sell 1000 tickets over the day, so I’d love you to come and have some fun in the sun! It’s my first major event so your support would be awesome!

Link to tickets:

http://twentysomethinglondon.com/tsl-presents-rooftop-brewing-netil-360/

 

'Fuckin-A' Rooftop Terrace

‘Fuckin-A’ Rooftop Terrace

4th July Independence Day Tasting

For those of you who cant escape a bit of American love over the Independence Day weekend or are looking for a little more mental stimulation, my next tasting is a cracker.  We’ve got the space at the brand spanking new Social Kitchen over at Jenius Social in Holloway where the Chef Malcolm will be making some American gastronomic classics to pair with each American craft lager.

6 beers and 6 delicious dishes to blow your rocks off! These are beers which you certainly cannot find in your local.  Find out about the ‘state’ of US craft beer (excuse the pun) and how it is influencing the British beer industry.  These guys are way ahead of the curve, doing mind bogglingly awesome things which will change your whole perception of beer for good!

Tickets: £28 for 2 hours of mind blowing beer and food you want to bury your face in.

http://www.jeniussocial.co.uk/shop/jenius-social/m08-independence-day-craft-beer-tasting

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Heaven on a plate

Heaven on a plate

 

British summertime… Aren’t they great? The first glimmer of sunlight and flip flops are dusted off, retro sunglasses emerge and on the first sunny day of the year everyone forgoes the suncream and is walking around like a microwaved albino bunny, sunburnt to a crisp. Once we regain the feeling to our shoulder and scalps there is serious beer drinking to be done in beer gardens, parks and balconies. Here’s what I’ve got coming up:

4th July Independence Day Tasting

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In an ironic role reversal, we are seeing a US invasion of our shores…. epic US beer that is! On 4th July I’m holding a cool and refreshing American themed tasting where we will be giving a big high five and a hearty back slap to our American cousins on the day of their independence.

‘Craft’ beer is already a popular phenomenon in the USA with brewers in all 52 States ripping up the classic old-world brewing play book. These guys have risen the bar in terms of adventure, creativity and down right in-your-face flavours and we love them for it.

Subtlety is not always their strong point, but is big always best? Does ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’ still apply? We will answer these questions and more by working our way through six of the best beers to come out of The Land of the Free. Price includes mini sliders and buffalo wings paired with each yankee beer.

Get your ticket here: http://www.jeniussocial.co.uk/shop/jenius-social/m08-independence-day-craft-beer-tasting?utm_content=bufferc8b2c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Rooftop Brewing – 5th July

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What better place to quaff some excellent craft beer than on a rooftop overlooking London? I couldn’t think of one and so that’s why I approached the guys at Netil360 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2kCfwXXx68) to host Rooftop Brewing on 5th July. The guys at TwentySomethingLondon and I have put together this awesome celebration of London Craft Beer, street food and beer infused cocktails. Choose a boozy brunch or alfresco disco to suit your style… All to the soundtrack of live DJ’s under the London sun. This is something you definitely do not want to miss!

Meet these breweries:
Hop Stuff
London Fields Brewery
Signature Brewing
Beer Boutique Cider Bar
London Beer Factory

Enjoy beer cocktails from:
Bar Chick

Munch great street food from:
Yolk
Hot Skillet
Turner & Roast

Chill out to DJ’s:
Danglo
Alfresco Disco

http://twentysomethinglondon.com/tsl-presents-rooftop-brewing-netil-360/?utm_content=buffer8955f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Charlie

It’s been a great start to 2014!

Winter Beer Tasting, my first tasting event of year is sold out! What a way to start the year.  Congratulations to you lucky sods who got in quick to buy tickets, I’ve got an awesome selection of wintery beers brewed in London ready to be guzzled.

Don’t panic if you missed this one, I’ve got myself organised and booked in the following few tastings:

Beer and Cheese Pairing with The French Comte – 13th Feb

Use this link for early bird tickets: https://epicbeerandcheese.eventbrite.co.uk/?discount=CHEESE

This epic beer and cheese tasting will happen at a new venue, The Phoenix Pub in between Clapham North and Stockwell.  They have a lovely private room upstairs where we can get friendly with some genuine French cheese…. and with each other if we like, it’s the day before valentines after all.

http://www.thefrenchcomte.co.uk/#

Generic cheese and beer photo

Generic cheese and beer photo

I’m also incredibly privileged to be running a beer themed supper club on 25th February with the wildly acclaimed Secret Larder supper club.  6 courses and 6 different harmoniously paired beers.

http://www.jamesramsden.com/the-secret-larder/

 

Stout Patrick’s Day – 17th March

Use this link for early bird tickets:  https://stoutpatricksday2014.eventbrite.co.uk/?discount=DARKSTUFF

For avoidance of doubt, Guinness is a stout and this makes the above event name is very clever.  Stouts and porters were traditionally widely consumed in 18th Century London and more recently made famous by Mr Arthur Guinness.   Back at The White Horse, Parsons Green, we will compare some of the best examples around of the ‘black stuff’ against the classic Guinness accompanied by some tasty Irish grub. Everyone’s Irish on March 17th!

 

Come over to the dark side

Come over to the dark side

I’m getting a few people together via my meetup site to attend these other cool beer events going on around London, join the fun

Watch 6 Nations on a big screen at By The Horns Brewery (1st Feb)

http://www.bythehorns.co.uk/shop/events/6-nations-entry-ticket-sat-1st-feb-2014/

Battersea Beer Festival, 5-7th February, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11

http://batterseabeerfestival.org.uk/

Craft Beer Rising, fun beer festival (21st-23rd February)

http://www.craftbeerrising.co.uk/

 

 

Don’t forget to be part of the Indie Ales community of beer! Its all about sharing great beer and helping your friends drink better.

Via Facebook www.facebook.com/drinkbetterbeeruk and twitter @indieales

Be a good person

Be a good person

What I wrote earlier in the year after attending the Great British Beer Festival

charliepountney

So the Great British Beer Festival came to town last week. Exciting stuff! I had been before but this time I felt like I was approaching it with a little more tact and knowledge and it was all the more enjoyable for it.
Here follows a note for the uninitiated or those wanting to get the best experience from the day.
Find some friends interested in drinking beer. You should know one or two.
Do attend during the day if you can. I went this year after work and I felt a little rushed trying to get through the beers I wanted to enjoy and not chug down prior to last orders.
Locate a table or any flat surface  with chairs surrounding it. This may require imagination, flattery or bullying to acquire this but has obvious benefits.
Create a beer fund. Get your friends to pool cash together (£10 or…

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