One festival that I have never been to is the Great British Beer Festival in London, (shame on you I hear you shout!) and sadly this year is no exception. This is just a personal thing though, and I know plenty of people who thoroughly enjoy their yearly trip. This year's festival starts next week and for a change I have seen a preview of the beer list (see our Facebook page), and pretty impressive it is too.
There are 429 beers listed covering the UK from Scotland to the Isle Of Wight, with plenty of Yorkshire beers on offer too. Because of the way the breweries are selected, they are all well established (though some are new to me because their output rarely leaves their immediate area or in some cases the brew-pub itself) and the beers are always ones brewed regularly rather than specials.
Some breweries have several beers on offer, others just have one available. Locally one of our better breweries, Mallinsons, has it's Stadium there rubbing shoulders with some of the larger nationals, a great achievement for them and the brewers will be in London to make sure it's on form. The beer of the festival will be selected early on and Mallys has only another 428 beers to beat to get the crown. Maybe this time next week they can be celebrating another local success story! Huddersfield based Golcar Brewery picked up a bronze last time for their Dark Mild and have sent Alba Rose to do battle this year.
All beer styles are represented at GBBF and all strengths too, so whatever sort of beer you like I am sure something there will hit the spot. Foreign beers also have their own beer bar, and I know lovers of foreign beers who make the journey specially to stock up on them. A full list of these can be viewed on the festival's website.