Every August, beer fans from all over the UK and beyond descend upon London for the 5 day long Great British Beer Festival. The festival is the largest in the UK and features a huge range real ales, ciders, perries and international beers.
This year was another record-breaking year for the Great British Beer Festival and there was an increase of almost 5% in attendance figures from last year’s festival. Here are some facts from the festival:-
- 66,922 beer fans through the door.
- Over 1,000 new members joined CAMRA.
- Over 200,000 pints were sold at the Festival at a rate of over 75 pints poured per minute.
- 1881 gallons of cider, and 855 gallons of perry were sold throughout the week.
- Champion Beer of Britain went to Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale (Nottingham).
- The Champion Bottled Beer of Britain was St Austell’s Admiral Ale
- Smuttynose brewery’s Big A IPA won the Michael Jackson Award (American cask beer competition)
- Around 500 visitors attended tutored tastings plus a further 75 attended Melissa Cole’s Girls’ Guide to Beer tours
Being another record breaking year meant that by Saturday afternoon a lot of the beer had gone resulting in some unhappy punters. Last year I visited on a Saturday and there were still lots of beers available. As with all festivals, if you arrive on the last day, especially after a long festival like the GBBF, you risk either not being able to try beers that you had planned on tasting or not being able to taste any at all.
This year I visited on a Friday and there were a lot more beers available and the American bottled beers were being replenished throughout the day. However, the vast majority of the American kegs had been drunk dry earlier in the week so maybe next year I will visit earlier in the week.
There is plenty of food available such as hot dogs, pasties, pies, fish and chips and pork scratchings which every year are arranged in a huge mountain.
If you love beer, you just have to visit the GBBF at least once. And once you have visited, you’ll want to return every year.
Tel: 020 7385 1200
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