It’s a busy month for beer festivals in London. We’ve rounded up the most notable opportunities for fermented excellence.
10-13 October: Pembury Tavern Green Hop Beer Festival
It’s a triple-whammy: the intersection of Hackney’s excellent Pembury Tavern, the nearby Five Points Brewing Co, and some time-limited ‘green hop’ beers.
To elaborate, the Pembury Tavern — in conjunction with its owner, the Five Points Brewing Co — are hosting a festival celebrating ‘green hop’ beers. For the uninitiated, these beers are made with fresh, not dried, hops. 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 well as two new Five Points beers, which are being launched at this festival, various other green hop beers from UK brewers are set to feature. Soak it all up with one of the pub’s awesome pizzas and you’re winning.
19 October: Peckham Levels Beer Festival
For one day only, Peckham Levels — a collection of food, drink, and entertainment venues housed in a repurposed multi-story car park — are hosting a beer festival, serving small batch beers from a handful of London-based brewers. Alongside the beery goodness, a musical accompaniment will be provided by several live bands and DJs.
Entry is free, and a stamp card with an allocation of six half-pints of beer from any of the festival’s breweries can be purchased for £12 from either of the on-site pubs. Festivities run from 2pm until 12.30am.
24-26 October: Twickenham Beer & Cider Festival
The organisers of CAMRA beer festivals do like to adopt themes for their events, and they seem especially fond of anniversaries. And so this year’s Twickenham Beer & Cider Festival aims to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ‘lunar landing’ — the first manned moon landing, Apollo 11, took place 50 years and three months ago. We are unsure exactly how this theme will be enacted at the festival, but frankly the picture of a happy astronaut holding a pint of beer on the festival poster is good enough for us.
As with previous years the festival will take place at York House, a mere five minutes’ walk from Twickenham Station. More than 70 real ales from around the UK will be served, 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).
30 October-2 November: Wandsworth Common Halloween Beer Festival
As usual, the suitably gothic-looking Royal Victoria Patriotic Building will host the annual Wandsworth Common Halloween Beer Festival, promising more than 100 beers, alongside “more cider than ever before” (this is what they said last year, but apparently translates to an impressive array of 50 traditional and new wave fruity ciders).
The Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions run from 1pm until 11pm; entry for each of those days will cost £5 (or £4 for CAMRA members), with online pre-registration recommended. Alternatively, you can pay £35 for the preview night from 6-11pm on the Wednesday, with all of the beer and cider that you feel like drinking 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.
- Deptford’s wonderfully old-school Dog & Bell pub will be pouring more than 25 independently-sourced ales from Cornwall, in its Cornish Real Ale Festival, from 18-20 October.
- The Royal Albert in New Cross is home to the annual Octopump festival from 24-27 October, serving 20 real ales and ciders alongside food and live music.
- The Hope in Carshalton will conduct an as-yet-unnamed beer festival from 31 October-2 November. 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.