This month’s beery gatherings are dominated by three recurring annual events, although it’s the last time that we’ll see the venerable London Drinker festival. Use the eventual arrival of spring as an excuse to drink some lovely, lovely beer at one (or all) of these...
12-18 March: London Beer Week
Now in its fourth year, London Beer Week is returning to its old formula of selling a week-long pass (now stored on a smartphone instead of worn on a wrist) providing access to beer offers at many pubs and bars around London. The pass costs £10, and entitles the bearer to spend £5 on a bespoke ‘tasting flight’ of beer, individually curated by 75 (or 100, depending on where on the LBW website you look) participating establishments. Check the LBW website for full details of participating pubs and bars, and the beers that they will be serving.
14-16 March: London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival
It feels like the end of an era: after 34 years, this year’s London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival will be the very last. Nonetheless the organisers are determined to bow out in style, serving more than 200 London-brewed beers (29 of which will be vegan-friendly), as well as an extensive list of imported bottles, and 50 ciders and perries.
Aside from the great beer-drinking opportunities, the festival will also feature: tutored tastings and meet-the-brewer sessions (all now sold-out), a pub quiz, and various awards (including, for the first time, an award for the best low-alcohol beer brewed in London).
There are two sessions on each of Wednesday and Thursday: a lunchtime session with free entry, and an evening session when entry costs £4 on the door. On Friday the festival runs uninterrupted from noon until 10.30pm, for which entry also costs £4 on the door. Card-carrying CAMRA members get £1 off the entry fee. Group tickets and season tickets are also available.
28 March-2 April: Wandsworth Common Easter Beer Festival
This year’s springtime beer festival at Wandsworth Common’s Grade II listed Royal Victoria Patriotic Building (AKA 'Le Gothique') has been renamed as an Easter Beer Festival, falling as it does this year over Easter weekend. This instalment represents its 10th anniversary, so the organisers have pushed the boat out with 150 different beers and ciders being served over a period of six days. As before, the beer-drinking will be accompanied by live music, DJ’s, and food (including Easter Sunday lunch).
An entrance fee of £5 (or £4 for CAMRA members) will get you into any of the three main sessions running from 1pm to 11pm on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Online pre-registration is highly recommended to guarantee entry. Alternatively a pre-booked £30 ticket provides entry to the preview night from 6pm on the Wednesday, with all beer, cider and house wine included in the ticket price. Finally, a pre-booked £20 ticket will get you entry, a roast lunch, and one free pint on the Sunday.
If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, check out our ever-expanding database of the best pubs in London.