Posts Tagged ‘GBBF’

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.

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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