GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL

Great British Beer Festival
Olympia
Hammersmith Road
London
W14 8UX

FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 16 AUGUST 2014

Everybody knows what the Great British Beer Festival is. Everybody has an opinion on the Great British Beer Festival – some of those opinions are favourable and some of those opinions are not so favourable. My viewpoint is simple: Feel free to dis it but you’d be daft to miss it.

There’s no real point giving you a blow by blow account of my GBBF 2014 experience but suffice to say – as I arrived before one and remained until the bars closed at seven – I had a lovely day.

For the sake of historical accuracy here are the beers I consumed:

Collaboration – Hogs Back & Elusive
North Wall – Hop Kettle
Roaring Meg – Springhead
Sublime Chaos – Anarchy [best UK beer I had]
Bananatana – De 3 Horne
Hemel & Aarde (Octomore BA) – De Molen [best beer I had]
TIPA – Emelisse
Vintage Ale 2014 – Fullers
Prince of Denmark – Harveys
Lekker Bakkie Kobi – Uiltje
Den Dorstige Tijger – Ramses
Brettanosaurus Rex – Oersoep
McEwan’s IPA – Wells
Kastel Triple – Van Honsebrouck
Kastel Rougue – Van Honsebrouck
Morpheus Undressed Foederbier – Alvinne
Rauchbier Kräusen – Schlenkerla
Sublime Chaos – Anarchy [so good I had it twice]
Shire Stout – Ramses
Hemel & Aarde (Octomore BA) – De Molen [so good I had it twice]

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DRAFT HOUSE (SEETHING) – LONDON

Draft House
Seething Lane
London
EC3N 4AX

FIRST VISIT: FRIDAY 31 JANUARY 2014

My first visit to a Draft House and I wasn’t impressed. The place is big and brash and noisy. And it was populated by people in big suits who were brash and noisy. It took an age to get to the toilet because the place has a cloaking spell that makes anyone in jeans invisible and silent to everybody else on the premises. But once you’ve worked that out it means you can push your way through and nobody will say or do anything to stop you doing so. Politeness goes a long way but occasionally a dropped shoulder while propelling yourself forward gets you there quicker.

I had an Anarchy Crime Scene. It was £6.50 a pint. I don’t get hung up about the price of beer but £6.50 seemed a tad optimistic and/or exploitative. It was a decent enough beverage awash with juicy citrus hops but the general consensus was that the price sullied the overall taste experience.

I left after the one beer. There were loads of people who were apparently having a great time. But it’s not the place for me. I doubt I’ll be back.