Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Long Live London Beer!

The London Brewers Alliance showcase was a brilliant success. The venue was a bright, square hall with all the brewers set up around the outside which made the ideal environment to explore London beer (and reminded me of the San Francisco equivalent). What made the event such a success was having all the brewers there, giving drinkers a chance to talk to the beer makers and giving the brewers a chance to talk to their customers, building a very important, personal bond. The sense of sharing was strong and community was clear to see and having Fuller’s next to the London Amateur Brewers showed the diversity of London beer and making it all-inclusive and adding an extra, important depth to the group.

Stand-out beers for the night were the kegged Kernel Brewery Citra, a West Coast-style IPA with a smooth body and a punch of the distinctive in-thing hop; the unblended Fuller’s Brewers Reserve was wonderful and rich, boozy and complex, slightly wild at the edges and dangerously gluggable; Redemption’s Pale Ale was great, fruity and floral with a quenching bitterness; Brodies Citra was 3.1% and absolutely rocked with so much flavour, it’s the sort of beer you could drink all day in a hot summer beer garden, while their Romanov Empress Imperial Stout kicked some serious arse; Saints & Sinners Citra’d Reaktion was excellent, another smack around the face with citrus but a great balancing sweetness; it's good to see Camden Town Brewery getting their beers out and I can't wait to try more - the helles made for a nice, cold half pint following all that Citra; the Windsor & Eton guys are making some decent beers too, their Guardsman was a quality best bitter; and then there’s the collaboration special, the London Porter, a butch, roasty beer with winter berries at the edges and a lasting, delicious bitterness – it’s a great beer and you might be able to find it around and about London if you are lucky. (I didn't manage have a beer from every brewery there so I'll need there to be another event next year in which I can do that!)

The joy for me was seeing the variety of beers available and tasting the quality of them. The beer scene in London is vibrant and exciting and it keeps on getting better with more good pubs opening where great and interesting beer is a priority. London is firmly on the beer map and long may it stay there.


  1. Sounds a top night. We are having a tasting with Kernel tomorrow night at Tower Bridge.

    Was it press/brewers only or could we have attended? I'd like to have one of our guys (or myself) at events like that for obvious reasons....

    Hope all well and we must hook up on site soon.


  2. Those Kernel beers are top stuff.

    This was open to anyone to attend. It was advertised on the blog and twitter quite a bit - follow @LondonBrewers.