By Bob Pease, chief executive, Brewers Association
With just days to go until the start of the Great British Beer Festival, held annually in Olympia, London, the Brewers Association is once again proud to sponsor the Transatlantic Bar 09, as we have done for the last 14 years, with a broad range of high quality, innovative and diverse American craft beers in bottles and cans, from our Export Development Programme (EDP) members.
This year, 27 Brewers Association EDP members will be participating, pouring well over 100 different beers, running the gamut of beer styles from imperial barrel-aged gin goses to barrel-aged Russian imperial stouts, and encompassing the most diverse range of flavours, aromas, brewing techniques and ingredients currently at the vanguard of the American craft brewing movement.
We’ll have lighter styles, such as wheat beers, Berlinerweisse, Pilsners and Kölsch, through to imperial porters, coffee porters and barrel-aged rye beers. A vast range of ever-popular IPAs will be available, including medal winners from the World Beer Cup or Great American Beer Festival. Click here to see the GBBF beer list.
This year, in a break from tradition, the Brewers Association bar will feature cans. Canning is a popular packaging format with American brewers because they are easier to transport, lighter, infinitely recyclable, take up less space, are cheaper to ship and offer the full 360 marketing wrap. You’ll find a selection of bottles, in 12oz (350ml), 22oz (660ml) and 750ml format, and cans in 12oz/350ml or 16oz/473ml sizes at the Transatlantic Bar this year. Beers can be enjoyed responsibly on site or taken home.
Innovation is one of the hallmarks of the American craft brewing movement and this year’s selection of beers for GBBF demonstrates just that. Many of the beers are making their debut at GBBF and the whole lot is being air-freighted across the Atlantic to ensure it reaches the beer lover tasting super-fresh and in peak condition. If you can’t get to GBBF, head to The Distillers, in Hammersmith, London, for a guided tasting of super high-quality American craft beers, and a meet the brewers session, on Tuesday (August 7). Tickets are available via Eventbrite. Or come along to The Rake, in Borough Market, London, on Thursday (August 9) for a canned beer and meet the brewers takeover.
The GBBF is a seminal event in the whole craft beer movement because it gave rise to the Great American Beer Festival, the signature event of craft beer culture in the States. GBBF was the inspiration behind the American festival when the Brewers Association’s founder and past president, Charlie Papazian, and the late Michael Jackson first visited GBBF over 40 years ago and shared a vision of an event like GBBF happening in the States. This year, GABF will celebrate its 37th Anniversary and it all started with the GBBF — that’s one of the main reasons why we continue to participate in the UK festival every year.
The UK is one of our top export markets for American craft beer, with exports up 7.1% in 2017, and GBBF provides our EDP members a chance to showcase their beers in this country. It allows us to highlight beers that are already in the UK, along with those looking to gain traction over here.
We are grateful for CAMRA’s continued support and have built a mutually beneficial relationship with CAMRA over the years. We like to think we bring an element of interest to the festival and that it contributes to a larger international presence from many other countries that helps attract visitors and creates appeal. We value our relationship with CAMRA and as long as interest in US craft beers continues to grow, we’ll continue to
attend GBBF. Cheers!
The Brewers Association
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus US breweries.
The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers.
The BA organises events including the World Beer Cup, Great American Beer Festival, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, the National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week.
It publishes The New Brewer magazine, and Brewers Publications is the largest publisher of brewing literature in the US.