If you took part in all the booze-fuelled events surrounding last October’s London Cocktail Week, it’s possible you’re just about getting over the hangover.
Brace yourselves for another one though, because the same team are gearing up to bring us the very first London Beer Week next month.
The celebration of our favourite liquid refresher runs from 16-22 February, and will incorporate tastings, tours and lashings of incentives to drink beer.
To get in on the action, you’ll need to buy a £10 wristband. As well as entitling you entry to some free events, this will get you discounted beer at more than 79 venues across London — and that number’s set to grow. Selected speciality pints will cost just £3, and bourbon-spiked boilermakers will be £5 for wristband-wearers at venues including: Ask For Janice in Smithfield, Pimlico’s Cask, De Hems and Dog And Duck in Soho, Dovetail and The Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell, Bermondsey Street’s Tanner & Co, The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green and all the London Craft Beer Co and The Draft House branches.
As well as cheap pints, at London Beer Week’s heart is the third annual Craft Beer Rising festival — which promises to be the biggest and best yet. It runs from 19-22 February at the Old Truman Brewery and features live music, street food and stands from over 70 breweries, totalling more than 350 beers. London brewers with a presence include Beavertown, Camden Town, Fourpure, Meantime and Portobello. Craft Beer Rising's website lists some of the line-up, and you can see what we had to say about last year’s festival for more insight; tickets start from £17 and include a £5 beer token.
The festival and some discounted beer aside, special London Beer Week events are still pretty thin on the ground, but we’re assured there are some on their way. It took London Cocktail Week a good few years to become the big deal it now is, and it will likely be the same with the beer equivalent — but we’re very pleased to see it arriving anyway.
So, set the week aside for some serious ale consumption, get your wristband and stock-up on the Berocca. To keep your beer barometers high in the meantime, see our guide to the best pubs in London, a pick of London’s 10 Best Craft Beer Pubs, or a round-up of where you can drink gluten-free beer in the capital.