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Sharpen your tastebuds for GBBF delights

Added: Sunday, July 31st 2016


You will be spoilt for choice at the 2017 Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) at London Olympia from 9-13 August. There will be 900 beers on offer and as well as showcasing great cask ales from all parts of Britain there will also be beers from the United States and mainland Europe.

GBBF, staged by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, arguably offers beer lovers the best choice of beers of any festival in the world. The famous Munich Oktoberfest has just a handful of beers from brewers in the city: brewers from outside Munich are banned and the beers on offer are all one style of festival lager.

The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, has a massive choice – the country does have some 4,000 craft breweries – but they are all domestic beers. But at GBBF some of the finest American beers will cross the Pond to delight visitors to Olympia.

As well as regular cask ales from all parts of Britain there will also be special edition brews and one-of specials produced for the festival.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the Champion Beer of Britain competition, which reaches the final rounds at Olympia. For the past 12 months, trained panels have tasted beers from all regions of the country and the best in classes ranging from Mild to Golden Ale, Bitter, Best Bitter and Strong Bitters go forward to Olympia. On Tuesday 9 August, special panels will judge the chosen beers and the winners of each class will then go forward to a final panel.

The winners, including the supreme Champion Beer of Britain, will be announced on Tuesday evening. The champion brewer can expect great demand for his or her top brew: last year’s winner, Tiny Rebel from Wales, is expanding its plant to keep pace with demand.

The growing number of bottle-conditioned beers will be celebrated at the festival with a special display on bar B15.  London brewers offering naturally-conditioned bottled beers will include:

Anspach & Hobday

East London




Truman and

Weird Beard

There will be a series of Tutored Beer Tastings every day at the festival. They include:

Champion Beers of Britain with Roger Protz: Tuesday 9 August 6-7pm (SOLD OUT); and Wednesday 10 August 1.30-2.30.

The Revolution Goes On: Adrian Tierney-Jones and Roger Protz, co-authors of Britain’s Beer Revolution: Wednesday 10 August, 6-7pm.

Made in the USA: German beer expert Sylvia Kopp, European ambassador of the Brewers’ Association of the United States, conducts a tasting of top American beers, including IPAs: Thursday 11 August, 1.30-2.30.

Bottle-conditioned beers from around the world: Maggie Cubbler, Beer Hawk sommelier: Thursday 11 August, 6-7pm.

Matching Beer and Cheese with Christine Cryne: Friday 12 August, 1.30-2.30.

A Taste of London with Des De Moor: Friday 12 August, 6-7pm.

There will be Book Signings by leading beer writers in the Book Shop. They include:

Geoff Brandwood, Britain’s Best Real Heritage Pubs, Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 7pm; Friday 12 noon and 6.30pm; Saturday 12 noon and 6pm.

Jeff Evans, Good Bottled Beer Guide and So You Want to be a Beer Expert, Tuesday 5pm.

Bob Steel, Pub Walks, Thursday 5pm.

Des De Moor, London’s Best Beers, Pubs and Bars, Friday 7.30pm.

Adrian Tierney Jones: Britain’s Beer Revolution, Thursday 3.30pm.

Roger Protz: CAMRA’s Beer Anthology, Wednesday 3.30pm.

Parents and guardians will be able to bring children to the festival and use the Family Area, which will have games and other attractions. Children under 18 are admitted free to the festival but cannot access areas where alcohol is served. Parents and guardians must stay with children in the Family Area.

There will be Traditional Pub Games to play and for younger drinkers there will be Online Quizzes, Social Media activities, selfies with 3D #GBBF, and an online Beer Finder to help choose the beers that suit your tastes if you are a first-time visitor.

Opening times:

9 August 12 noon-5pm (trade session); public 5-10pm.

10, 11, 12 August 12 noon-10pm.

13 August (Saturday) 11am-6.30pm.

Advance tickets: £11, CAMRA members £9. On the door: £14/£11.

For full information see:

CAMRA has announced that the chosen charity for the festival is Action Duchenne, which conducts research into victims of muscular dystrophy and helps families affected by the illness. There will be collecting tins available throughout Olympia.