For the first time since 2005, GBBF is being held a Olympia in west London. This is no doubt due to Earl’s Court, the venue for the last 6 festivals, being used for Olympic volleyball. The Olympia is a huge venue with the Grand Hall covering an extensive 18,860sq/m and resembling a giant Victorian greenhouse.
Split over two floors, the majority of the beers along with catering and the main entertainment stage are located on the ground floor with a few extra bars and more seating being located on the upper floor. Unfortunately the majority of the seating is located on the second level away from the bulk of the beer. However, it was an improvement on the seating at Earl’s Court.
Being one of the largest beer festivals in the UK, you can expect to find a huge range of beers available and this year is no exception. Over 800 beers from breweries across the whole of the UK, Europe, the US and beyond are featured along with ciders and perries.
The majority of UK breweries are represented either with just one or two ales or a dedicated bar from the larger breweries like Marstons, Fullers and Greene King.
Beer highlights of this year’s festival include Fuller’s Brewer’s Reserve No. 4 which, like previous reserves, is being made available for the first time at the festival, Greene King’s 5X, which is not commercially available, and the well stocked American beer bar which features a large number of beers rarely seen in Britain, let alone in casks.
Champion Beer of Britain
Announced on the first day of the festival, the Champion Beer of Britain was a barley wine from Cumbria. Winner of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain in January, 2012, Coniston No. 9 Barley Wine was a surprise winner but was described by judges as ‘having fantastic finesse, reminiscent of a fine cognac.’
Suffolk brewery Green Jack took the silver with their Trawlerboys Best Bitter and Dark Star from West Sussex took the bronze with their American Pale Ale. You can view the full list of winners on the CAMRA website.
More Photos of the Great British Festival 2012
Ads by Google