Visiting Britain’s Biggest ‘Pub’ The Great British Beer Festival

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year is CAMRA’s (Campaign for Real Ale) Great British Beer Festival. Happy beer-thday we say from Sheffield, hurrah! We’re looking forward to heading down to the trade session, on Tuesday 8th August, to enjoy a whole host of Sheffield ale from the likes of Abbeydale, Exit 33, Kelham Island and more. If you would like to buy tickets and find out about all the beers pouring you can use their beer finder HERE.

We’d love to join beer writer Roger Protz’s ‘Champion Beer of Britain’ tasting on Tuesday but it’s a little late in the day for us. If you fancy tasting and hearing more about the beers in the 2017 category you can purchase tickets online: Tutored Tastings.

Another element of the beer festival we’re excited to see developed is the American bar. Each year it seems to grow in cask (which we find to be such a treat!) and small pack stock. We went to see the President and CEO of the American Brewers Association, Bob Pease, speak in Sheffield in March and it was great to catch him for a personal chat afterwards. He gave us some great insight into how beer events – such as brewery special releases and beer weeks, like us, bring a positive economic and footfall impact to their local areas. The ‘beer-cation economy’ or beer tourism, as we call it, is a growing area. Even the Lonely Planet are publishing titles focused on this area: ‘Global Beer Tour‘. This year there’ll be some special brews heading to the festival and the Brewers Association have shared a list full of rare and seasonal one offs. Check out BA’s beer sommelier, Lotte Peplow’s blog for the full list:

A few we’ve picked out to try include Fifty Fifty’s bourbon barrel aged imperial stout ‘Eclipse’, Great Divide’s big, bold ‘Titan’ IPA, Epic’s Belgian inspired golden ale that’s been aged in white wine barrels with peach puree ‘Brianless On Peaches’ ‘and pFriem’s take on an ‘Oud Bruin’.

Completely new this year is the Irish co-operative run showcase bar which will be featuring the likes of White Hag, O’Haras and Metalman (and more). For the last three years, St Patrick’s Day has fallen during Sheffield Beer Week and we’ve always had an independent Irish craft beer showcase event to celebrate the scene. So I for one will be heading to this new bar to try the beers on offer. I hope to see you there, cheers!


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