London Beer City is upon us and the highlight will be the London Craft Beer Festival 2017. Here’s my pick of the many beers to try at its 5th birthday bonanza.
To explain briefly, London Beer City is a 10-day festival of the drink we all love and consists of many free and paid-for events across the city. The London Craft Beer Festival is just one of them but it’s the big flagship affair (there are still a few tickets left).
Before you browse the list below, I’ve not sampled these brews yet (as I did with my round-up of the best beers at Craft Beer Rising 2017). I’m attending the last session of the festival on Sunday so figured a forward-looking round-up would be more useful than a ‘here’s what you missed’ post.
There’s going to be a lot of choice at the festival (over 300 on the full beer list) and choosing just a few has been difficult to say the least. Every brewery has noteworthy offerings, but here’s what I think could be some of the best beers at the London Craft Beer Festival 2017 based on what I’ve seen.
I’ve tried to keep it varied in strength and style but please do share your own picks in the comments section or let me know on Twitter. I might add reader suggestions at the bottom.
Note: Not all beers will be available at all sessions.
Five Point x One Mile End x Pressure Drop – Agadoo
- Pineapple Saison
- It feels like every fruit has been used to death in beer but the pineapple is one that has mostly eluded the craft beer world. This is one of the first ever collaborations for Hackney-based Five Points (specially for London Beer City) and although it’s quite far removed from the brewery’s core range, it’s gotta be worth a try.
Fourpure – Lost in Tea Saison
- Ok it’s another Saison but it probably couldn’t get much more different than pineapple. There are plenty of Earl Grey beers out there so it’ll be interesting to see how the guys at Fourpure have used both green and jasmine tea in this one. Also it’s named after Bill Murray film ‘Lost in Translation’!
Fuller’s – Vintage Ale 2016
- Barley Wine
- Craft beer festivals might make you think keg, but ‘The Cask Yard‘ hosted by Fuller’s is certainly going to be worth a visit. As well as rare cask beer from Sierra Nevada, and some new collaborations (including a red ale made with Thornbridge), it’s a great chance to try one of Fuller’s legendary Vintage Ales. This 2016 edition combines British hops with Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand.
Wiper and True – Winter Palace
- Imperial Stout
- Getting a bit stronger, the love for the impy stout in the craft beer world is strong indeed. This is supposedly even better than the awesome Milk Shake, according to Honest Brew so it must be amazing. You can expect chocolate, coffee and dark berry flavours in abundance.
Mikkeller – Ahhh BA White Wine
- Belgian Ale
- Mikkeller is bringing a number of great beers to the festival but I wanted to have a Belgian style beer on this list. This one looks very tempting with spicy and fruity aromas followed by a sweet malt body and subtle stone fruit notes.
Other Half – DDH Mylar Bags
- Double IPA
- Other Half is one of the hottest breweries on the East Coast right now, being sort of the US equivalent of Cloudwater. Picking just one of the beers is almost impossible but this one has my attention. It’s made with wheat and oats, plus a bunch of hops and lupulin powders including Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado, Mosaic and Galaxy.
Oskar Blues – BA Java Ten Fidy
- Imperial Stout
- You might know Colorado-based Oskar Blues for its Dale’s Pale Ale, but Ten Fidy is one of the most highly rated Imperial Stouts around. It’s limited even in the US so when it’s included in your ticket price, you should probably get some. This barrel aged Java edition is made with coffee beans from Central America, South Asia and Ethiopia.
Fourpure x Wimbledon x BBNo – South Pacific Pale
- Pale Ale
- This is the second London Beer City collaboration, this time by three South London breweries. If you’re looking for a session beer then this sounds great. It’s got a low IBU, pours hazy thanks to oats and is hopped with NZ varieties including Cascade and Motueka.
Buxton x Omnipollo – Original Blueberry Slab Cake Ice Cream
- Fruit Sour
- The festival will be the UK launch for three of these extremely popular Ice Cream beers. Raspberry Meringue and Popsicle Pils will both be available too and the soft serve machine will be in action. This is an exciting sour with flavours of blueberry, caramel and vanilla.
Beavertown x Stillwater – Skullwater
- Belgian Pale
- Another Belgian style but very different from the Mikkeller above. This collab is dry hopped with the likes of Citra and Simcoe for a modern twist. Beavertown promises some intense flavours including ‘banana Angel Delight and strawberry Pop Tarts’, ‘black pepper and spicy nutmeg’ and ‘bitter wall of chewed pencil ends, tea and sleep’ – among others.
Use the slideshow below to check out more of the London Craft Beer Festival 2017 beer list:
- Craft beer events UK 2017: Your festival calendar
- Yeastie Boys’ Stu on Cans, Cask and life after BrewDog
- The Great British Beer Festival’s main attraction isn’t remotely British