The Great British Beer Festival, or GBBF—a festival that celebrates the great British ale. This year, it’s being held 2-6 August, at Earls Court in London, and will feature over 700 of the best real ales, ciders, and foreign beers. If this is a festival that interests you and you need a hotel, check out the Jurys Inn’s range of hotels in London
GBBF truly is the biggest pub in the world. On the afternoon of the first day of the festival, Tuesday the 2nd, is press day and is open only to members of the press and those involved in the industry. Then things will be opened up to the general public with the Champion Beer of Britain awards announced, in eight categories recognized by the Society of Independent Brewers and judged by a panel of GBBF volunteers on the basis of taste, aroma, and finish. One of these awards is the Michael Jackson Award, named for the world-renowned beer writer who passed away in 2007.
For the rest of the festival, there’ll be great ale tastings, food and drink stands, demos, presentations, live music, and even traditional pub games. One of the most fun activities of the festival is “Hat Day,” held on Thursday (4th August), as it has each year during GBBF since 2005. Festival goers are encouraged to bring their favourite hats, perhaps one that they’ve made, and vie for beer vouches presented to the best hats by the competition judges, as well as for the overall best hat, the owner of which will win a gift bag full of great goodies.
In years past, over 66,000 has attended GBBF and consumed about 350,000 pints of beer—one pint sold every half-second over the course of the festival. It has grown consistently each year since it was founded in 1977. Its organisers feel that this year’s venue, the great conference center Earls Court, which brought development and entertainment to West London, is a great choice.