Hot weather and cold (or cellar temperature) beer are well-established bedfellows, so it’s no surprise that August features plenty of great opportunities for combining the two. We’ve summarised some of London’s more notable beery gatherings here, but feel free to let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything compelling.
1-3 August: Epping Ongar Railway Beer Festival
OK so this isn't really in London, but you can get there on the tube (more-or-less) and, more importantly, YOU GET TO DRINK BEER AND RIDE ON A STEAM TRAIN. More specifically, 40 real ales, eight ciders, and various heritage steam and diesel trains combine for the purpose of great nerdy satisfaction at North Weald station this weekend. Tickets cost £13 (£11 for CAMRA members), see the website for more details.
9-16 August: London Beer City
Comprising a week of events celebrating beer and brewers in the capital, London Beer City intends to "take the excitement of a beer festival into every corner of the city". The busy schedule features walks, talks, bike tours, ‘live brews’, open days, music, pop-ups, barbecues, themed tastings, a ‘beer school’ and, of course, lots and lots of lovely beer. You won’t be able to attend every event, but it’s worth trying to catch a few.
12-16 August: The Great British Beer Festival
CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival returns to Olympia in customarily colossal style. A compulsory fixture in every London-dwelling beer lover's calendar, this year's festival promises some big numbers: 900 beers, 50,000 attendees, 350 breweries, and so on. Based on previous years, big bellies and grizzly beards are also to be expected. Tickets cost £10 (or £8 for CAMRA members). We'll be running a dedicated preview later this week.
14-17 August: London Craft Beer Festival
Returning for its second year, the London Craft Beer Festival at Bethnal Green's Oval Space provides the opportunity to taste ‘small serves’ of many different beers with a £35 all-inclusive ticket. We observed last year that this festival provides a deliberately quite different alternative to the Great British Beer Festival, and it looks like this year’s event will be no different in that respect.
30 August: Beer By The River
Battersea-based brewer Sambrooks has teamed up with the National Trust for this one-day event set in Morden Hall Park. Beer (obviously), food, music and tranquil surroundings are promised in exchange for a £10 ticket. The river in question is the Wandle, which flows through Morden Hall Park, and also lends its name to Sambrooks's flagship beer.
In addition to the events mentioned above, several London pubs are conducting smaller beer festivals next month. Highgate’s brewpub The Bull is celebrating pale ales and IPAs in their Beyond the Pale festival from 14-17 August, Stratford’s Tap East will be launching some new collaborative brews in their Open Brewhouse Beer Festival from 22-24 August, and The Red Lion in Isleworth will hold their summer beer festival from 22-25 August.
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.