Each year, London celebrates five days of beer-loving festivities in what has become the largest beer festival in Britain - the Great British Beer Festival. True to its name, this brew-themed event has a uniquely British character that lends itself well to the massive gathering of various beers from all over the globe. Every August more than 50,000 people come from around the world to taste hundreds of great brews.
More than 800 different brews made their way to the festival this year, a number that grows with each successive event. There are hundreds of local varieties as well as hundreds more originating from all corners of the world, from Japan to the United States. This is a golden opportunity for both beer snobs who want to try out some beers that they’ve never had, as well as for newbies to the beer-loving scene who want to experience a great variety in a short period of time.
Along with all the drinking, there’s plenty of food to be had, though it follows a mostly British theme. Expect to find snacks like fish and chips, crisps, sausages and curries among other things. There are also several varieties of entertainment to enjoy over the five-day event. There are musical performances, beer contests and a kid's area so that parents can keep their children entertained between drinking binges. A games area provides distractions such as darts and other pastimes popular in the country.
All this is done in the name of raising awareness of the importance of beer in Britain to help combat the slowly dying pub industry that is being strangled out by excessive taxation. Beer drinking in Britain is more than just an excuse for a festival such as the GBBF, it’s a major source of revenue and a long-standing tradition.
Though this year is already passed, next year’s Great British Beer Festival will take place from August 13th to the 17th. If you plan on going, make sure to pick up a GBBF program so that you know what’s going on each day of the event and get a list of all the delicious brews that will be available. Beer lovers will find that mid- August is the perfect time to take a trip to London and an opportunity to experience not only this magnificent city, but all she has to offer in the way of wonderful and unique brews.