London, Edinburgh and Bristol are set to host the biggest series yet of Craft Beer Festivals, taking a unique brand of world class brews, music, food and headline music acts across the country. They will also give up-and-coming brewers a major showcase.
Attracting more than 125 world class brewers from around the UK, Europe and the US, festival-goers will get the chance to try over 200 beers, including new-to-market brews, cult classics and festival specials.
Having grown from 2,000 people at the very first London Craft Beer Festival in 2013, this year the festivals are based in new and expanded venues, like Tobacco Dock at London Docklands, and will host around 17,000 beer fans across London, Edinburgh and Bristol.
Among the first brewers to be invited are international creative forces Mikkeller, from Denmark, Dugges, from Sweden, and Stillwater Artisanal, from Baltimore, US. There are up and coming UK stars, like Verdant, from Cornwall, Beavertown Brewery, from London, and Tempest Brew Company, from The Borders, all alongside craft beer giants like BrewDog, Sierra Nevada and Oskar Blues.
New for this year, consumers will also have the chance to sample beers from the winning brewers of the Raise the Bar initiative. In a bid to champion new-to-market brewers, organisers and founders of We Are Beer, Greg Wells and Dan Sylvester, are inviting submissions from upcoming brewers keen to raise their profile.
An expert panel will independently blind taste all submissions before selecting the top four brewers to attend all three festivals, providing them with a platform to showcase their beer to around 17,000 people across the country.
Celebrating brewing culture
The Raise the Bar panel includes: Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown head brewer and founder of a new community-based brewery, Earth Station; Ben Freeman, co-founder and brewer at Pressure Drop; and Jonny Garrett, from the Craft Beer Channel, alongside Greg and Dan from We Are Beer.
Greg Wells said: “The festivals are an opportunity to celebrate brewers and modern brewing culture from across the globe and have been designed to be great value for money, giving all ticket holders the opportunity to explore all of the hundreds of beers — a real festival of flavour.
“In our continued quest to champion the incredible upcoming talent, we are excited about the potential for our Raise the Bar competition to give young, new brewers a platform to showcase their beer on a UK stage.”
Jenn Merrick added: “I am delighted to be asked by Dan and Greg to be a judge for Raise the Bar. I am a great believer in opening up the industry to a more diverse group of people, so it’s good to see an initiative like this which supports new talent.”
The Craft Beer Festivals will be returning for the sixth time in London, the third time in Bristol and second time in Edinburgh. Dates and locations for the festivals are:
- Edinburgh, May 25-27, Biscuit Factory, Leith
- London, August 3-5, Tobacco Dock, Docklands
- Bristol — to be announced
Tickets for the London and Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival are now on sale at edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk/ or londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk, with Bristol’s going on sale from March (bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk).