In a way, it seems odd that the Rake would host a beer festival. Anyone who has visited the notoriously beer-obsessed and diminutive premises can testify that every day is like a beer festival at the Rake, so why bother announcing a whole week devoted to the beery stuff that they do so well anyway?
Well here's why. Starting at lunchtime today, a whole week especially focussed on beer brewed in London (or its close environs) kicks off. Almost 50 different beers from the likes of Redemption (Tottenham), Brodies (Leyton), Kernel (Bermondsey), Meantime (Greenwich), Sambrooks (Battersea), Camden Town and Windsor & Eton will be available on cask and keg throughout the week.
As if this wasn't enough, five 'Meet the Brewer' events will be taking place over the course of the week:
- 2pm today – Andy Moffat and Andy Smith from Redemption will be presenting three of their beers.
- 7pm on Monday – Evin O'Riordain from Kernel will show off some of his brews, including the much-praised Black IPA.
- 7pm on Tuesday – Steve Schmidt from Meantime will be showcasing five keg beers.
- 7pm on Wednesday – Jasper Cuppaidge from Camden Town will provide seven beers (five on keg, two on cask).
- 7pm on Thursday – Windsor & Eton brewery will be launching a royal-wedding-themed brew, 'Windsor Knot', and bringing along three other beers as well.
To address the inevitable ergonomic challenges of hosting a beer festival in such tiny premises, the Rake have made clever use of their pleasant outside drinking area for racking a dozen or so casks – an appealing prospect given the optimistic weather forecasts.
The Rake, 14 Winchester Walk, London SE1 9AG.