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Big boom in London brewers

Added: Tuesday, August 7th 2012

‘London has gone brewing crazy’. These are the words of CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival and the London Brewers’ Alliance (LBA) following figures out today showing how 30 breweries are now operational across the capital - a whopping 24 of whom never even existed the last time the Great British Beer Festival was held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre back in 2005!

Since last year’s Great British Beer Festival alone, 14 new breweries have started life, and with the London Brewers’ Alliance reporting a further 14 currently in the process of setting up, London’s brewing industry has undergone a total revival since its nadir in 2006 when only seven commercial brewers were on stream.

After a successful six-year stint at Earls Court, the "‘World’s Biggest Pub" today opens its doors at Olympia with the brewing landscape in the nation’s capital having completely changed. From small artisanal set ups inside Westfield Stratfield City (Tap East), to mixing horticulture and brewing near Kew Gardens (Botanist Brewery), London has become the most transformed brewing scene in Britain.  

Following on from this incredible growth, new consumer research shows that the growing number of brewers is having a positive effect on beer drinkers, with a 25% increase in the percentage of London's drinkers* having tried real ale since 2005.

Mike Benner, CAMRA’s Chief Executive, said: "It’s a remarkable turnaround for London’s brewing fortunes, particularly at a time when research shows three pubs a week close across the capital. Brewers from Bethnal Green to Battersea are successfully targeting a new breed of discerning beer consumer, tapping into the principles of localism and environmental awareness and winning new audiences for Britain’s national drink. As seen at the Great British Beer Festival this week, this resurging interest in real ale can offer hope to the pub industry, especially when London’s brewing business goes from strength to strength."

Steve Williams, Secretary of the London Brewers’ Alliance, added: "Although London was behind the curve of the current British microbrewing renaissance; we have really caught up in 2011 and 2012 and are now proud to be at the cutting edge of the beer scene.  We have new breweries and brewpubs opening every month and we can also now reasonably claim to be the brewpub capital of Europe."

The Great British Beer Festival runs from 7-11 August at London’s Olympia, with seven London breweries featuring Fuller’s, Twickenham, Sambrook’s, Windsor & Eton, Redempton, By the Horns, and Brodie’s.

Since the first week of July, CAMRA’s London branches have been co-ordinating a campaign – London City of Beer -- to raise the profile of beer and pubs in the capital, and celebrate the industry’s rich history. For more information visit www.londoncityofbeer.org.uk.  

Notes to editors-
*all adults who drink alcohol, CAMRA/TNS Tracking Survey, June 2012

MEDIA PHOTOCALL- Members of the London Brewers’ Alliance will be gathering at the Great British Beer Festival on Tuesday 7 August  at 5pm at the Fuller’s brewery bar. All members of the press are welcome to attend the event and discuss London’s rapidly growing brewing scene. For access to the Great British Beer Festival, please contact jon.howard@camra.org.uk or call 07939 425471.

The London Brewers’ Alliance (www.londonbrewers.org) was formed in 2010 as a loose collective of breweries within the M25 to celebrate the resurgence of brewing in London. Its main object is to promote excellence in all aspects of brewing within London:
-by promoting the sale of beer brewed by its members
-by promoting its members
-by participating in any suitable event that promotes members interests
-by co- operating with any other body that is deemed to have similar aims
-by supporting the improvement of brewing skills among the membership

Great British Beer Festival- Opening Times to the public: Tuesday 7 August 5.00pm to 10.30pm; Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 August:: 12noon to 10.30pm; Saturday 11August: 
11.00am to 7.00pm

Tickets available from the official Festival website (www.gbbf.org.uk/tickets) or by calling See Tickets on 0844 412 4640. Advance day tickets- £6 (CAMRA members), £8 (non-members)
Advance season tickets- £20 (CAMRA members), £23 (non-members) Day tickets- £8 (CAMRA members), £10 (non-members). Group bookings (10+)- £7 per person (CAMRA/non-CAMRA members), only available by phoning See Tickets on 0844 412 4650.