The first part of October was rather quiet for beer events in London, but the drinking opportunities pick up as the month progresses. We’ve rounded up some of the best below.
11-14 October: The Pembury Tavern Green Hop Beer Festival
In a triple dose of awesomeness, Hackney’s legendary Pembury Tavern (awesome) will be hosting a festival of ‘green hop’ beers (awesome) and celebrating its new ownership and refurbishment by the Five Points Brewing Co (awesome).
Let’s unpack this a bit. The Pembury Tavern has long been a stalwart dispenser of good ale, serving beer from Cambridge’s Milton Brewery since 2006. It was taken over by the excellent (and geographically very close) Five Points Brewing Co earlier this year, and has recently reopened following some refurbishment work. The first big event at the ‘new’ Pembury Tavern will be a festival of ‘green hop’ beers, showcasing three new Five Points ales and several seasonal beers from breweries based in London and Kent.
For the uninitiated, ‘green hop’ beers are made with fresh, not dried, hops from Kent. Such beers can only usually be made within a fairly narrow time-window after the late summer hop harvest, and benefit from different flavours and aromas compared to beers made with dried hops (as is usual). As these beers are hyper-seasonal, and not often seen in London, this festival is a rare opportunity to sample some only briefly available beers in a rather fine pub.
25-27 October: Twickenham Beer & Cider Festival
Once again, the Twickenham Beer & Cider Festival returns to York House, a mere five minutes’ walk from Twickenham Station. Ever fond of an anniversary, the organisers have decided to base this year’s festival’s theme around the 200th anniversary of the “creation of Frankenstein”. (Pedantically, we assume they intend to commemorate the anniversary of the creation of the ‘monster’, not the creation of its creator, Dr. Frankenstein. Either way it’s about 200 years since Mary Shelley’s novel of that name was first published.)
Aside from the tenuous theme, the festival’s basis is solid: more than 70 real ales from around the UK, with many CAMRA award-winning brews promised, plus the usual addition of ciders and perries, all served in pint, half, or third-pint measures. Festivities run from 12pm until 10.30pm each day, and a day’s entry costs just £3 (with discounts for CAMRA members or those turning up before 3pm on the Thursday or Friday).
31 October-3 November: Wandsworth Common Beer & Cider Festival
As befits a festival that kicks off on 31 October, and takes place in a decidedly gothic-looking venue (the Grade II listed Royal Victoria Patriotic Building), the overriding theme of the 10th instalment of the Wandsworth Common Beer & Cider Festival is ‘halloween’. 100 beers and “more cider than ever before” are promised, as well as live music on the Friday and Saturday.
The Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions run from 1pm until 1pm; entry for each of those days will cost £5 (or £4 for CAMRA members), with online pre-registration recommended. Alternatively, you can pay £25 for an ‘early bird’ online ticket (or £30 on the door) for the preview night from 6-11pm on the Wednesday, with beer and cider included in the ticket price.
- If you’re looking for an opportunity to adopt a tenuously Bavarian-inspired theme while drinking lots of beer, take a look at our roundup of Oktoberfest-inspired events in London.
- It’s not exactly a beer festival in the tradition sense, but the N5 Ale Crawl from 11-14 October does provide a showcase of beers from 25 London and south-east brewers, split across four excellent pubs around Highbury and its environs.
- The beer festival at Paddington’s Heist Bank bar returns for its second year from 12-14 October. Expect a wide range of potentially eclectic beers from an impressive selection of brewers, tutored tastings, food and beer pairings, “beer yoga”, DJs, pizza, and other diversions. Tickets cost £15 and include two beers and a tasting glass.
- Once again the Hope in Carshalton hosts a beer festival, with this month’s event (entitled ‘Measure for Measure’) running from 25-27 October. Keep an eye on the festival’s holding page for details to emerge.
If you’re a lover of beer or pubs, check out our ever-expanding database of the best pubs in London.