Friday, July 29, 2011

It's GBBF time again

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.


Jibber said...

Been once. Never again.

It's all a bit 'corporate'. More of a trade show than a beer festival. And I dread to think what the prices are - I bet there's nothing under the £3 mark.

If you like crowds, more beers than you could possibly sample, brewery stands with suited young men, innumerable stewards in orange dayglo jackets, and expensive beer (especially for us West Yorkshire types) then this is the festival for you.

If, however, you prefer local beer festivals with familiar faces, cameraderie, reasonable prices and less regimentation, then stay up North.

And, even better, and I make no apology for suggesting this yet again, create your own itinerant beer festival. For example five pubs in Huddersfield alone (The Star, Sportsman, Grove, Rat and Ratchet, and Kings Head (aka Station Tavern, aka Uncle Bruce) will yield probably well over 50 different beers. No entrance fee, standard pub prices, and if you don't bump into a few friends en route, then I'm a banana!

Anonymous said...

the foreign beer list has been on the gbbf website for at least 10 days.very impressive.

Festa said...

Looks very corporate to me. Also the lack of BrewDog cos they dare to do something different seems a bit dim. Regardless of key keg etc, there is no doubt that their bottled beers are some of the best around. I also had an email from the organiser of Sheffield RUFC Beer Fest yesterday some time in september. I suggested he got some Mallinsons in