May seems to be the month for south London local CAMRA festivals, alongside other perennial favourites and welcome returns. It’s not exclusively beer-focused though — our round-up also features a couple of events that actively encourage the consumption of coffee and food alongside the fermented fare. Enjoy!
3-5 May: Bexley Beer Festival
Returning for its 13th year, the Bexley Beer Festival promises more than 90 beers and ciders, all meticulously detailed in a rather comprehensive Excel spreadsheet on the local CAMRA branch’s website. Conscientious stuff, right there. As with previous years, the spreadsheet lists beers from a wide variety of UK independent brewers, with a notable preponderance of Kentish beers.
A mere £3 (or nothing at all if you’re a card-carrying CAMRA member or can prove you’re under 26) will buy you entry to each day’s session, which sounds like a bargain to us.
17-19 May: Kingston Beer & Cider Festival
The organisers of the Kingston Beer & Cider Festival do like their anniversaries. Last year they commemorated the centenary of a First World War biplane; the year before they were celebrating an anniversary of electric trains serving the area. This year, somewhat less imaginatively, they are celebrating the 10th anniversary of this festival taking place at the current venue — the Kingston Workmen’s Club & Institute.
Anyway, aside from all the counting of years, there are some more relevant numbers to concentrate on here. 60 real ales. 12 ciders. £3 entry fee, with a £1 discount for CAMRA members. Two free pints if you join CAMRA at the festival. That sort of thing.
19 May: Uppers & Downers Festival
Do you like coffee? Do you like beer? Do you like beer made with coffee? If you can answer ‘yes’ to at least two of these questions, then the one-afternoon-only Uppers & Downers festival, with its focus on using coffee as a brewing and blending ingredient, might be relevant to your interests.
Following the sell-out popularity of last year’s festival, Uppers & Downers will be relocating to Mick’s Garage in Hackney Wick, just across the road from CRATE brewery. Independent coffee roasters and beer brewers will be showcasing their wares and, significantly, their unique one-off collaborations, in a five-hour celebration of booze and caffeine. There’s an impressive list of 15 brewers and 12 coffee roasters set to feature, so expect plenty of variety.
The festival runs from noon-5pm, with a £45 (plus booking fee) ticket providing entry to the event, a tasting glass, some “small swag”, and “as many shots of espresso and 100ml pours of coffee-beer as you’d like to enjoy”. A £5 discount is available to subscribers of Good Beer Hunting.
24-26 May: Kidbrooke Beer & Cider Festival
Once again Charlton Park Rugby Club plays host to the Kidbrooke Beer & Cider Festival for its fifth annual instalment. More than 50 real ales, with a particular focus on local south-east London brewers are promised, as well as more than 20 ciders and perries. Food, in the form of pizza and other offerings from local vendors, will be available, and a handful of local bands will also be performing.
As with last year, the festival runs from noon-10.30pm each day, and entry costs a mere £2 (£1 for CAMRA members).
- The Antelope in Kingston will be celebrating the bank holiday weekend with a beer festival from 4-7 May, with 70ish beers, a hog roast and barbecue, and live music.
- The annual Surbiton Food Festival includes a dry-hopped beer festival, as part of the Village Fete over the weekend of 12-13 May. Festivities run from noon to 6pm in St. Andrew’s Square.
- Saturday 12 May sees a welcome return for London Brewers’ Market, back in Old Spitalfield’s Market for their first outing of 2018. More than 20 London-based independent brewers will be selling their beers from 11.30am to 6.30pm, with musical accompaniment from Independent Label Market.
- The one-day beer festival from Crystal Palace F.C. will take place at Selhurst Park Stadium from noon to 7pm on Saturday 19 May. A £12 advance ticket (or £20 on the door) will give you access to more than 200 beers and ciders, as well as food, live music, and broadcasts of both the royal wedding and the FA Cup Final on the big screen.
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