“The World’s Biggest Pub” returns for the annual Great British Beer Festival, this time held at Kensington Olympia (as it has in the past) instead of Earls Court because of the Olympics, which has a degree of poetry to it if you ask me. I much prefer this location, it has a great feel to it and worked well. And with over 800 cask and bottled real ales, ciders & foreign beers from around the world to choose from you are guaranteed to find something for every taste.

I love the work that CAMRA do, lobbying Government, promoting real ale, running surveys to find out what makes people go to pubs and much more as well as providing a fun tasting session in the form of this mega festival. I was with my pregnant wife and was expecting her to have a much harder time than she actually did. There were plenty of drink options available to her including a whole Fentimans stand. This year was the first time that I noticed the festival’s family section, which bodes well for next year. It was also the most broad group of people I have ever seen at the GBBF. With a lot more young people and an equal split of men and women. It was lovely to see and will hopefully continue.

This year at the Great British Beer Festival (7-11 August) I stuck primarily to the German and American stands focussing on Weissbiers and American style IPAs.

My favourites this year were:

Odell – IPA (India Pale Ale)
Saranac – White IPA
Inversion IPA
Karg – Dunkles Hefe-Weissbier

The award winners:

Overall winners-
Gold- Coniston, No.9 Barley Wine (from Coniston, Cumbria)
Silver- Green Jack, Trawlerboys Best Bitter (from Lowestoft, Suffolk)
Bronze- Dark Star, American Pale Ale (from Horsham, West Sussex)

Golden Ales-
Gold- Dark Star, American Pale Ale (from Horsham, West Sussex)
Silver- Cumbrian Legendary Ales, Langdale (from Hawkshead, Cumbria)
Bronze- Hobsons, Town Crier (from Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire)

Speciality Beers-
Gold- Dunham Massey, Chocolate Cherry Mild (from Dunham Massey, Gtr Manchester)
Silver- Little Valley, Hebden’s Wheat (from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire)
Bronze- Nethergate, Umbel Magna (from Pentlow, Essex)

Champion Bottled Beer of Britain winners-
Gold- Stewart, Embra (from Loanhead, Midlothian)
Silver- Great Gable, Yewbarrow (from Egremont, Cumbria)
Bronze- Molson Coors, Worthington’s White Shield (from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire)

For a list of all the winners and more information check out:

http://gbbf.org.uk

I love the Great British Beer Festival and if you haven’t been yet – you need to!

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