Phil Lowry over at beermerchants.com posted this blog entry yesterday about brewing in the UK and the burgeoning craft beer scene that we’re seeing develop here. He throws out there that “I am starting to wonder if actually we have one of the best beer scenes in the world”, which is not to be taken lightly when you consider his traveling and beer knowledge credentials.
But enough about Mr Lowry and more about London. As a resident of the capital, I’m privileged to be in what feels like the epicentre of this beer scene. Something I attempted to capture in this blog comment:
It’s difficult for someone like myself to put all this in context sometimes. I’m in a fortunate position to have only ever been interested in good beer when its prevalence is on the increase. Something that’s out of my control, but something that I do recognise and understand.
That being said, even as an avid advocate of good beer, the seemingly endless number of craft beer bar openings, beer events and new breweries is bloody exciting stuff. For those close to London, you’re a stone’s throw away from a number of world class bars and breweries. There’s a mix of contemporary (Euston Tap, Cask) and traditional (Wenlock, Old Fountain, Sam Smiths etc) and a new sense of unity and community among the city’s brewers. We might be looking to places like the US for inspiration, but we’re melding it with things that we’ve always done well and the result must surely be a beer “scene” that’s comparable with that of any other city in the world!
A Friday night in The Rake to celebrate a new beer launch with the brewer, surrounded by people that love and enthuse about good beer. Saturday in the Euston Tap drinking world class beer from Denmark, Europe and the US. Sunday in The White Horse for cask Harveys and a roast; then Monday night for an LAB meeting – a homebrewers group that goes from strength to strength. Where else can you do that but in the UK and in London?
And there’s no better time to celebrate and sample London beer than next week! Starting on Sunday 10th April, The Rake will be hosting a series of five meet the brewer events. Redemption kick things off followed by The Kernel on Monday, Meantime take control of Tuesday and then Camden Town have their turn on Wednesday. Rounding off the week will be (the slightly less London based) Windsor & Eton. It’s a great chance to meet the people behind the beer and sample their wares at the same time. There’ll also be a focus on London beer if the bar has any spare taps, including a rare cask of the Fuller’s Past Masters XX Strong Ale.
See you there.
Update (08/04/11) - some further details
Sunday: starts at 12 noon, 12 beers racked on the decking and 3 on the handpulls inside. 7 keg lines also inside. Meet the Brewers event with Andy Moffatt and Andy Smith of Redemption brewery starting at 2pm. The three handpulls inside will be exclusively Redemption for Sunday.
Monday: Kernel Black IPA on the handpulls inside, meet the brewer event with Evin O'Riordan at 7pm in the evening.
Tuesday: A visit from Steve Schmidt of Meantime and 5 Meantime beers on Keg for the evening! (Time TBC).
Wednesday: Jasper Cuppiadge of Camden Town Brewery, 5 kegged Camden beers and two casks. (Time TBC).
Thursday: London launch of Windsor & Eton's royal wedding beer 'The Windsor Knot'. There will also be three casks available either on the bar or outside on the decking.
There will also be beers available from Zero Degrees, Brew Wharf, Sambrooks and Ha'penny. Fullers are sending down their last cask of Past Masters No.1 and Brodies are sending 4 beers including The Revolution Red IPA that was brewed in collobration with Glyn Roberts.
Awesome! Note - I don't have any connection with The Rake, I'm just happy to shout about this because I love what they do and you should too!