Monday 12 August 2013

The Week in Beer: 12-18 August, 2013

Any self-respecting beer drinker - and especially a London beer drinker - knows that this week is a big one. The premiere event is, of course, the Great British Beer Festival, which kicks off its 36th year. There are, however, a number of smaller though still highly intriguing events taking place over the next seven days, including a few Meet the Brewer nights and the inaugural year of the London Craft Beer Festival. Please read below for further details on what's happening this week.

Monday, 12 August:
  • Weird Beard Meet the Brewer at Cask Pub and Kitchen:
    • West London's own Weird Beard Brew Co. takes over the taps at Pimlico-based Cask Pub and Kitchen. It looks like they will have 10 beers on cask and an additional seven on keg; full list available here. Keep an eye out for a few specials you aren't likely to see again. Beers available from 5pm.

Tuesday, 13 August:
  • Great British Beer Festival - Day 1 (13-17 August):
    • Great, indeed. According to the festival's website, they expect more than 55,000 attendees this year to enjoy the more than 800 beers, ciders and perries on offer. This festival is first and foremost a CAMRA event so the focus is on British real ales (and real cider/ perry). But that doesn't mean they won't have a fantastic selection of beers from beyond the UK both on tap and in bottle. Expect to see some great beers from the United States, Belgium and Germany. It's obviously [almost] impossible to try everything so I would recommend you take a look here to prioritize your drinking agenda. I'll do my best to tweet any standouts I come across.
  • Wild Beer Co. Meet the Brewer at Cask Pub and Kitchen:
    • Another great MTB event at CPK, this one featuring Wild Beer Co. of Somerset. The pub will have seven offerings from Wild Beer, including a few debuts. Information on the beers planned for the event can be found here. Beers available from 5pm.

Wednesday, 14 August:
  • Great British Beer Festival - Day 2:
    • Pick up the pieces and get back in there!
  • Camden Versus Italy at Camden Town Brewery:
    • Camden will host four Italian brewers for an Italian tap takeover. The event will feature beers - and their brewers! - from Birrificio Italiano, Brewfist, Birra del Borgo and Toccalmatto. Full event details available here.

Thursday, 15 August:
  • Great British Beer Festival - Day 3
    • Time to start separating the men/ women from the boys/ girls. Probably best not to do three straight days of GBBF unless you really know what you're doing.

Friday, 16 August:
  • Great British Beer Festival - Day 4
    • This tends to be one of the busier days of GBBF as London's work force heads to the festival to wind down and celebrate the weekend's arrival. If you are going, expect ample and perhaps rambunctious crowds.
  • London Craft Beer Festival - Day 1:
    • Expectations are high for this new festival, which will feature 18 breweries and over 100 beers from the UK and beyond. Numerous London breweries will be in attendance, including The Kernel, Redemption, Beavertown, Brodie's, Partizan and more. Non-UK breweries include Mikkeller, De Molen and To Ol. For a full roster of the breweries attending, please go here. This festival will also emphasize food and music as part of the overall experience. Day one has two sessions: in the afternoon for friends/ press and in the evening for everyone.
  • Mikkeller Tap Takeover at King William IV:
    • Details surrounding this event have been minimal so far. I've heard whispers that the event will feature a dizzying array of beers from Denmark's renowned gypsy brewer and, based on previous tap takeovers at King William IV, I suspect the rumors are true. Should I get more information I will post back. I suspect beers will be made available in the early afternoon.

Saturday, 17 August:
  • Great British Beer Festival - Day 5:
    • By this point most of the best beers will be gone - but not the crowds.
  • London Craft Beer Festival - Day 2:
    • Two sessions today: one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Sunday, 18 August:
  • London Craft Beer Festival - Day 3
    • If after six days on continuous drinking you still want more, here's the best place to do it. One session lasting from the early afternoon until the early evening.

So there you go. I have to say this is one of the most impressive (and dangerous) beer weeks I have ever encountered. For those of you aiming to tackle the majority of the events listed above, please keep me updated on your progress (tweet me @LondonBeerGuide). I'll be hoping to do something each day this week, though I almost certainly won't be able to do it all - but you never know.

Good luck everybody.

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