Whether you’re a pale ale pundit, lager lover or just an all-round beer nut, we’d suggest hopping to Tobacco Docks this weekend where some of the world’s best brewers will be pulling pints at the London Craft Beer Festival.
Now in its sixth year, the event brings together 65 independent brewers for three days of talks and tastings from a 100-strong selection of beers.
Billed as their biggest celebration of modern beer yet, festival co-founders Greg Wells and Dan Sylvester have promised limited edition brews created exclusively for the festival, and unlimited 100ml tastings for ticket holders.
“Like most six-year-olds, it’s getting bigger each year – 2018 takes us to our new home of Tobacco Dock, meaning we can bring more great restaurants, DJs and amazing brewers from around the world together under one roof,” Greg says.
Hoppers, Pitt Cue and Luca are among the dining dynamos firing up their grills to line your stomachs, while indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club and DJ Toddla T will be headlining a huge music line-up across the weekend.
But let’s face it, we’re here for the beer, which is why we got the low-down from Greg on his top five brewers to look out for:
Unity Brew Co
“Founded by a former Londoner who recently set up in Southampton. Unity Brew Co are very much inspired by the farmhouse beers and brewing styles of Belgium, but have adapted them to modern tastes and use a lot of fruity hops,” Greg says.
“They use a lot of foraged ingredients like juniper in seasonal brews, but also make some really great IPAs too.”
Basqueland Brewing Project
“One of our favourites, Basqueland Brewing Project was founded by three Americans who call San Sebastian home.
“They’re very immersed in the incredible food and wine scene in the Basque Country and are making waves in that market with their modern US-inspired craft beers.
“Well crafted and always sessionable. They’ll be pouring a hoppy lager we made with them in mid-May that has been lagering since.”
“One of London’s finest, Pressure Drop has recently found a new home in Tottenham, which means they can increase their production.
“The new space has meant lots more new beers – we’re particularly enjoying their summer Berliner Weisse beers – tart and refreshing, they use seasonal fruit like rhubarb and gooseberry to make some of the summer’s best beers.”
Ida 3.8% Raspberry, Basil & Elderflower Berliner Weisse Light, fruity, tart & super refreshing. Following on from the success of our collab with @earthstationhq & @weare_beer we wanted to keep the sour train going. Inspired by the seasons Ida is a summery sour loaded with fresh raspberry, basil and locally foraged elderflower. As for the name- in Hellenistic Troy, Raspberry was linked to fertility and young children through the story of Ida, nursemaid to the infant Zeus. The story goes that she pricked her finger while picking the snow-white berries thus staining them red for all eternity. Label artwork by the incredibly talented @laurenhumphrey92 link to her work in our bio. Launch party this Friday @theexperimente8
“One of our favourite breweries of all time. Headed up by another American but brewing on the rugged west coast of Norway, Lervig are known for a variety of styles.
“Their big stouts are vast and rich, their sours tangy and complex, but it’s their pale ales we love. So much so we’ve made our official festival beer with them. A pale ale blended with a little sour to give it a refreshing finish.
“A lot of tropical fruit flavour makes it perfect for this incredible summer.”
Wild Beer Co
“Another fantastic brewery – these guys like to play a lot with flavour and ingredients. They are based down in Somerset and share their farmyard site with Westcombe Cheese.
“Wild Beer’s main thing is using natural fermentation and local foraged ingredients – it’s quite a slow process, and lets nature do its thing. You end up with some really fantastic beers that push the boundaries.”
London Craft Beer Festival is on 3 to 5 August at Tobacco Dock. Tickets start at £40 (including unlimited 100ml pours during the session) and are available via londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk/tickets
Lead photo by Stewart Attwood