On the 28th November 2015, beer lovers flocked to Old Spitalfields Market for London Brewers’ Market. Held in partnership with the Independent Label Market, this pop-up event showcased a range of beers from 26 breweries (with some winter warmers thrown in for good measure). It drew a heaving crowd of thirsty punters who came for the bevvies, but stayed for the revelry. The temporary beer garden was teeming and DJs provided an ongoing soundtrack throughout the afternoon.
The breweries in attendance ranged from the local stalwarts, such as Camden Town Brewery and Beavertown, to the freshly revived Truman’s Brewery. The presence of smaller brewers was strong, from the up-and-coming Howling Hops based in Hackney Wick to the husband and wife team behind Rocky Head Brewery. Other respected names on the London scene included: Brew by Numbers, Redemption, FourPure and Redchurch Brewery. Brewers were happy to expound on the virtues of their core ranges and the larger enterprises had some seasonal offerings- FourPure’s Lemondrop IPA proved popular, but it was their Hoptart that stood out as an excellent dry-hopped sour beer amid the prevalent pale ales and stouts.
A recent addition to the craft beer scene was in attendance- 40ft, a microbrewery operating out of three shipping containers in Dalston, East London. Although they have only just opened their taproom to the public, their beer is already being stocked in trendy corners of East London. This isn’t a fluke- their head brewer, Ben Ott, has serious pedigree working with both London Fields and Truman’s. Their Larger (yes- Larger- that isn’t a typo) is an exciting citrusy Kölsch that is superbly drinkable.
Porters and stouts were heavily proffered and there were some good examples, such as the Quadrant from the East London Brewing Company (LBC), a silky smooth oatmeal stout with pleasant notes of chocolate, coffee and molasses. The Five Points Brewing Company was pulling their Railway Porter, a crowd-pleasing variation of the traditional London style with robust flavour and a caramel finish.
Breweries were peddling bottles to take home, mostly as gift packs that represented a selection of their core beers. This provided an efficient way to sample the range of styles offered by a single brewery, which can be an otherwise daunting task. For some, this is the only means of sampling less widely available beers- especially if you’re living outside of the immediate stomping ground of a small brewery.
If you missed this year’s Brewer’s Market- or if you just didn’t make it past breweries beginning with the letter C — not all is lost. Honest Brew’s online store stocks a wide range of beer from many of the breweries represented at the event. Remember that HopTart or Quadrant? Both beers are available to buy online with Honest Brew.
And if you did need more convincing, Honest Brew delivers straight to your door, removing the panic of a keg running dry or a lengthy queue. That will certainly keep you going until the next Brewer’s Market in 2016- see you there!
This feature originally appeared on the Honest Brew blog here.