Review: The Great British Beer Festival, 11th-15th August

By September 3, 2015

Food. London.

[Image courtesy of The Radio Times]

A great event that recently happened in London this summer was “The Great Beer Festival”.

Throughout the week from the 11th till the 15th of August everyone had the opportunity to go to the Olympia Exhibition Centre and enjoy over 900 beers, ciders, liquors, etc. The venue also included stalls where you could have a snack and watch many other entertainments.

But the main reason to go there was to taste and discover new beers from all over the world. At the same time, you could meet beer tasters and specialists who kindly – and expertly – would tell you all you needed to know about this beverage.

One of my first stops at the Beer Festival was at the American panel, where I had the chance to meet Sam Hallam, one of the workers at the festival, who kindly explained to me why American beers have more hops than other beers.

Hallam also told me this festival is multicultural and it is a great opportunity to try beers from all over the world. I have to say they had a sample from almost every country in the world, which is a bonus for this festival.

Another worker at the festival whom I interviewed was Joe Quiglex. Quiglex told me this year’s champion was Tiny Rebel and the moment it was announced there was a long queue of people waiting to have a glass of it.

People who decide which beer is going to be the winner are expert tasters who have beer tasting sessions where they have to try several beers in one day and vote which one is the best based on different factors: taste, flavour, colour, and so on.

But not everything was beer at the festival. You could also buy different items such as books, T-shirts, glasses, and mugs. I spoke to Kevin Dorrington who worked at the shop panel and he told me books are a bestselling item at the beer festival because people can learn some fun facts about pubs and learn new things about brewery.

This festival wouldn’t be possible without the work and effort of many workers and volunteers. I spoke to Lyn Sharpe, one of the volunteers, who keeps coming every year “for the camaraderie. It’s like a big family, people have different backgrounds, but everybody loves beer”.

That was one thing I noticed. The environment of the festival was full of positivity and a friendly atmosphere was exhaled.

I also talked with several people who attended the festival and the reason that attracted all of them – apart from the beer – was the chance to socialize with their friends, wear silly hats, and have fun.