Ah, beer, and the wonderful opportunities for drinking it. Here’s a summary of some of London’s more interesting beery events happening this month. As always let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything.
6-8 June: Recreated D-Day Beers and Northumbrian Beer Festival at The Finborough Arms
There’s plenty going on at the Finborough Arms in West Brompton this weekend. On Friday evening, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the pub serves recreations of three beers that were brewed at Whitbread Brewery on that day in 1944. Peter Haydon (head brewer at the Florence Brewery and the brains behind the historically-inspired ‘A Head In A Hat’ range of beers) bases the recipes for the recreated beers on the original Whitbread brewing logs, so there’s a good chance that they will closely resemble the D-Day beers from 70 years ago. James Whitbread, a direct descendant of the Whitbread Brewery’s founder, will also attend, to speak about the family’s brewing history.
For the remainder of the weekend, the Finborough Arms hosts the Northumbrian Beer and Music Festival, featuring beers from breweries in North East England, food typical of the region, and a variety of live music on the Saturday. See the pub’s website for more details on both events.
6-8 June: Wild Card Brewery Beer Festival
This beer festival is organised by Walthamstow’s Wild Card Brewery, at the bar on its premises. As convenient as it may be to orchestrate a piss-up in a brewery, the beer line-up is not restricted to Wild Card’s own brews – in fact more than 30 cask ales from London and elsewhere in the UK are promised. Predictably enough, music and ‘street food’ also feature in the weekend’s activities. The best online source of information for this event appears to be Facebook, so check out the event page to find out more.
20-22 June: Summer Brew Fest 2014
This London Fields event showcases beers from a dozen of London’s small-ish breweries (plus one cider-maker from Scotland). Some interesting names furnish the line-up – several brewers are less than a year old – so this could be an opportunity to sample some unfamiliar local beers. Food is apparently of the ‘street’ variety (again), music will be folk-oriented, and the geekier attendees can get all excited by the prospect of watching a ‘live brew’ by the chaps from London Fields Brewery. Tickets for one of the five-hour sessions cost £30, including 15 beer tokens (enough for five pints of beer). Full details are available on the festival’s rather pretty website.
28 June-1 July: Surrey County Cricket Club Beer Festival
If ever proof were needed that beer and cricket make excellent bedfellows, then this event could provide supporting evidence. Buy a ticket to watch the Surrey vs. Hampshire cricket match at the Oval, and you’ll also get free entry to a beer festival in the grounds, with 50 real ales and ciders available. Online details are sparse, but the advert in CAMRA’s London Drinker Magazine (PDF, see page 43) indicates that tickets cost £10 in advance (or £5 for CAMRA members) or £12 on the day.
A couple of lower-profile beer festivals will also be taking place in London pubs this month. Croydon’s Royal Standard hosts a beer festival, barbecue and hog roast this weekend (6-8 June), and the excellent Hope in Carshalton conducts a beer festival from 26-28 June. Finally, rumour has it that Crystal Palace’s Grape & Grain will host its British Cider and Cheese Festival from 27-29 June.
If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, why not buy the Londonist book of London pub crawls for less than the price of a pint.
Check out London's Best Pubs, or new and growing wesbsite of the very best boozers.