This week it’s the Great British Beer Festival and everyone has gone absolutely crazy for the stuff. Whether you’re a craft beer kind of guy or more of a lager lout, we’ve lined up some of the best beer-related events happening in the capital this weekend. Bring your mate, bring your date – or even just take your dad along – as long as they enjoy a good brew, they won’t be disappointed. (Unless they took ‘brew’ to mean a cuppa – in which case they probably will be).
1. Go to the Great British Beer Festival – while you still can!
This is truly the mother of all beer festivals – or just the UK’s biggest pub – either way, it’s huge and you need to go. Housed in one of London’s largest exhibition halls in Olympia, the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF to its friends) has been serving up more than 900 different real ales over a five day period. That’s a whole lot of beer. And fear not, there’s a wide variety of alcohol-soaking food on offer too so you don’t get too rowdy. There’s only two more days left of the festival but you can still get tickets on the door. For more info, visit their website.
2. Enjoy a four course BBQ meal (and four craft beers to match)
Ever the innovators, the nice guys down at Galvin Café a Vin are throwing a four course BBQ tomorrow from 6pm. Matching an expertly picked craft beer from the Gipsy Hill Brewery to each delicious dish, it’s definitely one not to be missed if you love your food (and you love your beer even more). Tickets are only £30 and they can be purchased here if you download the Fever app. It’s going to be worth it just to see what beer they end up pairing with the strawberry and long pepper doughnuts…
3. Head to a beer garden (quickly, before all the seats get taken)
We’ve told you once before, and we’ll tell you once again, if there’s one thing this city does well, it’s beer gardens. From the Magic Garden in Battersea to the Albion in Islington, you’re never too far from an outdoor space to enjoy a pint with friends. Consult our guide to the best ones in London, sharpen your elbows and make sure you get down early to avoid disappointment.
4. Go to the London Craft Beer Festival
This is basically the Great British Beer Festival’s younger, cooler brother. He doesn’t have a beer belly and he definitely has a beard (of the Hipster variety). £38.50 may seem a lot but it will buy you entry to one five hour session, a tasting glass, and unlimited 90ml tasters of any of the beers being served by 25 or so independent brewers. And a lot can happen in five hours. It starts today! For more information visit their website.
5. Enjoy some street food and craft beer in a unique setting
Set in 196 acres of parkland with stunning panoramic views across London, the Alexandra Palace is a pretty sweet place to sip on a pint; which is lucky because on August 22nd they’re playing host to a whole load of well-known and local street food plus some of the best craft beers (and cider) in town. The beer garden opens at 11am and DJs and live bands will keep the festival going right through til 10pm. Entry is also free. So basically, even if you hate beer, you should probably still go.
6. Try a cherry infused Berliner Weiss (and scoff some Madrid style tapas)
From 5-9pm tomorrow and on Saturday, the Brick Brewery in Peckham Rye will be serving up a cherry-infused Berliner Weiss alongside some pretty special Madrid style tapas from the Squid Kitchen. Their ‘Bocadillo de Calamares’ (baguette stuffed with deep fried squid) is legendary. Washed down with a crafty brew? Es bueno.
7. Grab a beer from a taxi (and definitely take a photo)
From 1-6pm on Saturday The London Beer Factory will be premiering its new London taxi-based bar, from which thirsty punters can buy beer to drink in the sun. The bar inside will also be open, as will the London Beer Factory bottle shop for the first time, selling a wide range of beers including LBF’s own canned range. Worth it just for the photo. Go on, be that guy.