Our roaming beer lover Rebecca Pate (@rpate) investigates what the future holds for craft beer lovers at Craft Beer Rising 2016.
London Beer Week 2016 arrived at its finale with Craft Beer Rising, an assembly of 150 UK and international breweries showcasing their core, seasonal and one-off beers to a discerning crowd. Aptly staged at the Old Truman Brewery in East London, CBR gives independent brewers a chance to stand out and display their contagious passion for the craft.
Brew by Numbers’ wide range of styles struck us first. In particular, the 01|02 Saison (Amarillo & orange) was a perfect session beer with its harmonised balance of juicy Amarillo hops and aromatic Seville orange peel. It was clean, light with a dry finish and pretty popular with the crowd.
Another refreshing pick was the Cali American pale ale from Tiny Rebel Brewery, based in Newport, Wales. Cali’s citrusy aroma is typical of West Coast APAs, finishing with a light bitterness and tropical notes that were balanced with some earthiness. It was yet another crisp session beer that was remarkable for its big, juicy flavour.
We were really happy to catch up with Lervig Aktiebryggeri, the Norwegian brewers who’ve collaborated with the likes of Wild Beer Co and Magic Rock in the past. Not ones to bring a bland number to any occasion, they were pouring Pop That Cherry: a sour fruit beer that poured a deep red with a frothy pink head, jammy aroma and a pleasant tart finish.
US craft beer industry stalwarts Sierra Nevada and Goose Island were in attendance, pushing their IPAs and pale ales out to eager UK drinkers. Sierra Nevada tapped their fresh-hop (when hops are used within 24 hours of being picked from the bines) Celebration IPA; it was balanced, citrusy and hop-forward – highly characteristic of American-style IPAs.
On any such occasion it’s impossible not visit the stalls of the breweries that constantly deliver. The likes of Beavertown and Wild Beer Co consistently drew crowds throughout the trade session. Each of the new beers from Wild Beer Co was spot on. They launched III, a barley wine, for CBR2016: it was a sweet blend of caramelised orange peel and pomegranate molasses, lightly carbonated but with a hefty boozy hit (9% ABV). With an oily mouthfeel and hints of bitterness, it was divisive but a typical representation of another unusual- but well executed- offering from the brewery.
Craft Beer Rising 2016 was the perfect end to London Beer Week, providing an opportunity for attendees to spot future trends in brewing and sample special and newly launched ranges from a collection of well-respected breweries. Although many of the beers offered at the event will be difficult to source outside of CBR2016, most of the breweries and their core and seasonal ranges are stocked in the HonestBrew shop. With a little luck, some of the rarities will become more readily available soon. Our range is always growing, so watch this space…