There are two reasons to sign up for a London Beer Week wristband: the first is if you’re a beer fan and the second is if you’re not. In short, if you’re of legal drinking age and love your flavours you owe it to your palate to get involved.
Here’s why: from today until 28th February more than 100 of the best bars and restaurants in London will be getting their beer on. Forget ‘blah’, we’re talking bold and brilliant brews available at a bargain price of £3, with boilermakers (that’s a beer and a shot) and hop tails (aka beer cocktails) for a fiver. If ever there was a time to check out what the craft beer revolution is all about, this week is it.
For those who are always on the look-out for ever-inventive varieties to excite their tastebuds, there are plenty of goodies on offer. Hot tips include Oatmeal Cookie Stout at Hawksmoor Spitalfields; Siren Broken Dream Nitro Breakfast Stout available at The Other Room and Chilli Oyster Stout at the Well & Bucket.
If cocktails are more your thing, seek out the array of innovative hoptails on offer throughout the week. We can’t wait to try the fabulous sounding Kernow Gigglemug (try saying that after you’ve had a few!) concocted with Sharp’s Chalky Bite gin, roasted fennel seed syrup, citrus and caramelised kosovar juniper foam, on the menu at Worship Street Whistling Shop. We’ll also be making a beeline for The Tank Old-Fashioned (see below), featuring Pilsner Tank beer, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, beer sugar and orange bitters available at Duck & Rice, and who could resist a drink called Huggalicious? Particularly as it blends Big Hug ale, tequila, lime juice and agave syrup. Try it at the London Cocktail Club.
And don’t miss the DrinkUp.London Boilermaker Bar running from Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th February. You’ll get to meet the wonderful DrinkUp.London ladies, Hannah, Siobhan, Emma and Jane who will be joined by the equally fab Hobo Beer crew who will be launching their new cyder. Take your pick from six beers ranging from Badger Leaping Legend to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and chase with a selection of shots including Elements of Islay Peat and Bulleit Bourbon.
Want to be in the London Beer Week gang? All you have to do is register for your wristband. But do it pronto! For £10 you’ll have access to guided beer tours, £3 speciality beers plus £5 hoptails and boilermakers at over 100 venues throughout the week. February suddenly perked up considerably…
For more details and to register for your wristband, see londonbeerweek.com
The guide to your week starts here:
The Sharp’s Brewery London Beer Week Hub
Mon-Sat: Midday–9pm (bar service until 10pm), Sun: Midday-5pm
First things first: collect your wristband and enjoy some complimentary brews to start your week – the team from Sharp’s Brewery will be bringing their award winning beers and Cornish vibes to the Old Truman Brewery with a pop-up beach bar! You might even be lucky enough to find the Secret Bar and attend an exclusive mystery tasting session, designed to revolutionise the way you drink and appreciate beer.
Hop House 13 LDN
Mon 6-10pm, Tue-Sun 12-10pm
The Brewers Project joins London Beer Week once again, this time launching a brand new brew – Hop House 13. Try it alongside all the delicious beers from St James’s Gate, Dublin at the Hop House 13 pop-up bar where you can also chat to the experts and enjoy live music.
Mon-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sun 1pm-10pm
A collaboration between Kozel and Pilsner Urquell celebrating the culture and history of the Czech Republic’s iconic refreshing style of lager. They’re even setting up the pilsner tanks especially so you can sup it straight from the source.
The DrinkUp.London Boilermaker Bar
Thu 5pm-10pm & Fri-Sat 12pm-10pm
A bluesy rock and rollin’ pop-up showcasing the humble Boilermaker. We’ve picked six of our favourites brews and six whiskies (well, five and a Czech Liqueur), all of varying styles – just roll the dice to pick your poison.
We’ll be joined by the motley crew from Hobo to mark the launch of their brand spanking new cyder… if you made it along to their pop-up last year then you’ll already know that these guys really bring the party.
Pick of Events
For the hard core beer fan: ‘The Knowledge’ Beer + Brewing Masterclass
Fri 10.30pm-3pm, Meantime Brewery. Tickets £90 from meantimebrewing.com
Join the chaps at Meantime Brewery for an in-depth five hours in the brewery including a full tour and a detailed exploration of beer and the brewing process, covering topics such as ingredients, brewing history, and food & beer matching.
For the beginner: CRATE Tutored Tastings
Mon-Thu 6pm, CRATE Brewery. Tickets £10 from yplanapp.com
Be guided through the depths and delights of some of the world’s top brews, with each day allocated to a particular style of beer. Look forward to IPA Monday, Pale Tuesday, Dark Beer Wednesday and Sour Thursday with a breakdown of the style, where they’re from, and what magical ingredients they contain.
For the foodie: Beer Meets Fine Dining
Tue 7.30pm, Outlaw’s at The Capital. Dinner and drinks £50, email email@example.com
This special, one-off event sees Michelin-starred Outlaw’s at The Capital team up with Sharp’s Brewery to offer an exclusive seafood-focused, three-course menu, including Crab Scotch Egg paired with Chalky’s Bite; and Hake with Curry Sauce and Honey Spice IPA.
For the Boilermaker lovers: Buenos Aires to Bourbon Country
Tue 6.30pm, Gaucho Piccadilly. Tickets £20 from gauchorestaurants.com
Learn about the origins of the boilermaker and the long and fruitful partnership between suds and sippers in America. Woodford Reserve distillers select, double oaked and rye expressions will be tasted alongside signature beers that have been hand chosen by Gaucho’s resident beer expert.
For the Hoptail aficionado: The House of Peroni presents Italian Supperclub
Fri 7.30pm, Union Street Cafe. Dinner, drinks and masterclass £35, email firstname.lastname@example.org
A contemporary Italian dining experience with a specially-created menu by head chef Davide Degiovanni. The evening includes an infusions masterclass led by one of their special House of Peroni mixologists, and the party continues after dinner with more beers, Peroni cocktails and live music until late.
For the beer-loving party-goer: CBR London 2016
Fri-Sat 6.30pm-12.30am, Old Truman Brewery. Tickets £20 from craftbeerrising.co.uk
The biggest CBR ever – sample over 600 different beers and ciders from across the world, all to the backdrop of music headliners James Lavelle and Rob da Bank.
Listings and photographs, DrinkUp.London