Beer is back at the London Wine Fair 2015


It’s the London Wine Fair at Olympia this week from Mon 18th – Wed 20th (inclusive) and beer is back at the Fair.

As well as brewers and distributors exhibiting within Brewhouse I’ve also put together a programme of talks and tastings at The Hopsack – which can be found at stand F400.

Below is the foreword I wrote for the Brewhouse catalogue – which just about sums up why beer is back at the London Wine Fair.


It’s an exciting time to be a beer buyer

Whether you see it as evolution or revolution the world of beer has changed dramatically during the last decade. Where once the choice was simply lager or ale, today there are thousands of breweries making dozens of styles and hundreds of different beers.

Leading the charge are legions of hoppy US-style IPAs, but their popularity is no reason to neglect other more sessionable styles, or boozy, high ABV delights and everything else in between. Variety is the key to making the most of beer and essential to taking advantage of the interest in beer and food matching.

Thanks to the information age of internet, blogs, social media and smartphones – drinkers are now instantly able to research and review beers and places to drink. They expect increased choice and high standards. Get it wrong and you’ll miss out not just on making a profit but also the good PR beer know-how brings. Get it right and you’ll be on track to benefit from a boom in sales of craft beer which market analysts predict will continue to grow. Brewhouse at the London Wine Fair brings together a diverse mix of breweries and distributors presenting some of the best beers currently available.

Beer genie toasting pic lower res

This year’s beer exhibitors include:

Bear Brewery Co. Ltd, Love Drinks Ltd, Duvel Moortgat,

Brasserie Meteor SA, Wild Card Brewery, Thistly Cross Cider,

Freedom Brewery, Westside Drinks, Elgood & Sons,

Fordham & Old Dominion, Siren Craft Brew, Alivini Company Ltd,

Harviestoun Brewery, Budvar UK, By The Horns Brewing Co,

The Wild Beer Co, La Rulles and Meantime.

Download the full Brewhouse catalogue – which includes a list of exhibitors and beers as well as details of what’s on at The Hopsack here or find The Hopsack programme on the London Wine Fair website.

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Beer and pasta making with Brooklyn Brewery


From the archive comes this post I wrote last summer about the Brooklyn Brewery Mash – which is basically a tour by BB beers and people and a week-long beery celebration in a host city.

The Mash hits London this week 27 Apr – 3 May 2015 with events including debates on the State of Craft Beer and IPA on trial (the latter with one of BB’s top women, Brewing Technical Director Mary Wiles), some beer and food specials and some evenings of cultural entertainment too.

Beers to look out for this year include the excellent 1/2 Ale (a session saison and a bit like the baby sister of Sorachi Ace); Wild Horse Brett Porter and K is for Kriek.

It’s going to be delicious so be there or cry on your own in a corner (or raid your beer cupboard for something to console yourself with).

Full details here:

Originally posted on A FemAle View on Beer:

Brooklyn Brewery’s Mash Tour rolled into London this week. It’s a week of various foody and cultural events in partnership with local venues and people all lubricated by BB’s marvellous beers. I joined one of the events, an educational session about pasta making, in Shoreditch.

I’m going to be honest with you. I wasn’t sure how interesting a pasta-making demonstration was going to be. I was more keen on finding out what beers Brooklyn Brewery’s new(ish) chef Andrew Gerson was going to pair with pasta – particularly those in tomato sauces which I think can be quite tricky to match. But I went with an open mind and ended up learning more than I thought I would.

The event was held at a tiny ‘pastificio’ – meaning ‘artisan’ – called Burrio e Salvia (where if you don’t want to get practical with pasta you can simply go for lunch) and…

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Bob Pease’s advice to craft brewers

If you’re not familiar with the Brewers Association it’s a non-profit organisation representing craft brewers in the USA which exists, “to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.” It does so with an incredible passion which seems to be backed up by knowledge, skill and expertise.

BA publications are a brilliant resource

BA publications are a brilliant resource

Like any organisation it’s not perfect and I’ve heard it criticised for changes it’s made over the years to how it defines a craft brewer (the amount of beer produced and use of ‘adjuncts’ in particular have ruffled some feathers) but it produces some brilliant and informative leaflets and booklets for the trade and the drinker; carries out some excellent work to promote beer (in the US and beyond) and also organises the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

Basically it’s a force for good – the good of beer, brewing and those which love the two – and it’s an organisation held in high esteem within the beer industry on both sides of the Atlantic. So when I met Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease at SIBA’s Beer X last month I asked him what three pieces of advice he’d give to craft brewers, at home and here in the UK, on how to succeed and keep the craft beer revolution alive…

Bob Pease of the Brewers Association

Bob Pease of the Brewers Association

Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease’s top tips for craft brewers

1: Never lose sight of who is driving the craft beer revolution. [W]e firmly believe in the Brewers Association that the craft brewing revolution is driven by the beer drinker. It’s not being driven by the Brewers Association, it’s not being driven by SIBA, it’s really not even being driven by the brewers. It’s driven by the beer drinker – and we like to refer to our fans as beer drinkers.

They are not ‘consumers’ and we don’t make ‘product’. We make beer… and we interact with the beer drinker.

2: Quality, quality, quality. With the emergence of so many entrants into the market, which I believe is a positive, [it] means that your beer better stand up. The days of it being a novelty are gone.

[Y]ou need to put emphasis into your quality control; you need to have a lab; you need to have somebody who understands microbiology at your brewery and you need to make sure that you do more than just pay lip service to it.

3: Unity… stick together. I’m not going to say it’s us versus them but … at least in the United States, there are two different beer worlds. There is the large brewers, who do a fine job of making one or two or maybe three styles of beer – and they are serving a need, but there is another emerging group that is the small and independent local craft brewers. That is who the beer drinker is connecting with.

[S]o, stick together and remember that we are stronger, together we are heavy… we can do great things and we are doing great things. When you see what’s happened in the beer landscape in my country, and in the UK, we have changed history and it’s pretty exciting to see.


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