London is already awash with craft beer. The gauche re-branding of real ale calculated to reassure American drinkers has been so successful the capital’s venues that are not advertising brightly coloured brews with punk-inspired names are shrinking to a minority.
Drinks giant SAB Miller has jumped on the bandwagon, pumping liquid cash into Greenwich’s Meantime, its tanks rolling out across the battleground of London pubs in an arms race where mere casks are no longer enough.
The big guns are in copper and copious, garishly labelled bottles and cans.
East Londoners can immerse themselves fully in the war for attention and consumption at Craft Beer Rising , where more than 700 beers are expected to be poured.
Held at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane for a fifth consecutive year, the festival will welcome around 170 breweries and producers and a crowd of 2,000 people per session.
Tickets for the event, which runs from Thursday, February 23-25 are priced from £15 and include a branded glass and event programme.
Bars will be charging for beer as they did the previous year, however prices are promised to be lower than in London pubs.
The event’s director and founder Daniel Rowntree said: “CBR has become the highlight of the beer event calendar particularly for those interested in discovering new breweries and fresh product launches.
“We are proud to provide a platform for brands to launch new beers and in 2015 and 2016 that’s included Adnams, Fourpure, Hiver, Ilkley and Beavertown.
“We also saw the launch of breweries and producers including Bedlam, Mondo and Hawkes Urban Cider, with an uplift in European and American breweries exhibiting.”
In addition to the various brews on offer the organisers have paid attention to the stomachs of attendees.
Those on food station duties include La Bao, Fleisch Mob, Crabbie Shack, Mac Shack, Mypie, Prarie Fire BBQ and Salty Loins.
A selection of DJs and AV specialists will also be on hand to entertain the masses should they feel the need to take time out from refreshing themselves.
Festival-goers can expect James Priestley, The Reflex and Bill Brewster plus DJ Yoda as headliners on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday respectively.
Those able to keep their senses will be able to attend a series of panel discussions about the industry including appearances by “industry insiders” Melissa Cole and Pete Brown.
A new room has also been added for the 2017 event to cater to emerging breweries and those just starting out in the industry.
Perhaps the most unusual inclusion in the festival for 2017, though, is the Auchentoshan Whisky And Beer Cocktail Workshop governing the mixing of a decent brew with a single malt.
Quite why you’d want to blend the two singular products is beyond us. If anyone signs up and finds out, don’t forget to tweet the outcome @the_wharf. We’d be fascinated to see the results.
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