London Beer City News

10 august 2016

Come and celebrate the mighty hop

If a thirsty alien landed in modern London, he’d soon wonder what exactly IPA stood for. You can’t miss that particular abbreviation - which stands for India Pale Ale - in the city’s beer-focused boozers. Such is their popularity, indeed, that they come in a ever-widening range of iterations: not just IPA but also white IPA, session IPA, Double IPA and even black IPA. India Pale Ale, that drunk alien would have to conclude, is the king of beer.


The reason for that is simple: hops. Nothing has done more to change beer around the world than hops. That’s an uncontroversial statement: often, when brewers talk about being forward-thinking or experimental, they mean that they used a new variety of hops. Brewers love hops. Punters love hops.


What most drinkers don’t know is the story behind these remarkable hops. One of the biggest names in the Yakima Valley - an area in Washington State, USA, that is responsible for many of the beer world’s most fashionable hops - is Gene Probasco, who works with John I Haas and is retiring this year. Probasco was the first person to breed Citra, which has become if not the most widely-grown hop then at least the most widely-coveted. For anybody involved in the supply of hops, he has almost godlike status.


Probasco’s hard work will be on display at the Hop Tap Takeover, one of the highlights of London Beer City (5-14 August) This Simply Hops event takes place tonight at the Hop and Hack just off Fleet Street and will boast big hoppy beers from some of the world’s greatest brewers. “A couple of us at Simply Hops were lucky enough recently to attend a celebration for Mr Probasco’s retirement and we listened to many huge industry names struggle to find the words to express what he had done for hop growing and brewing around the world,” said Dan Christmas of Simply Hops.


“It seems odd that not many drinkers or even brewers back in the UK at that moment knew that while they enjoyed a big lip-smacking IPA, the man that pretty much started the hop “arms race” was getting ready to put his slippered feet up and leave us in the safe hands of the next generation of hop whisperers.”


The Hop Tap Takeover will be a celebration of the work of Probasco and others. Not only will you get the chance to try some amazing examples of hoppy beer, but the raw ingredient will also be available for you to rub and sniff (but not taste – they are insanely bitter when raw). Simply Hops’ resident hop experts will also be on hand to make sure that you leave knowing a bit more about the hop - and why people like Gene should be hailed for the heroes they are.


Simply Hops is one of the main partners for this year’s London Beer City.

4 august 2016



One of the most exciting aspects of this year's London Beer City will be the embassies, representing New Zealand (Commercial Tavern), Australia (Draft House Birdcage) and the USA (King's Arms).


Each will have special beers on all week from their respective nations, plus a host of fun events. The pubs are within crawling distance of each other, meaning you can visit these three fine countries in the space of one evening. No passport required!


Here's a taste of what we've got planned:

New Zealand

Expect cask collaborations, new releases and juicy Kiwi beers on all week.


The Aussies are promising rarities, a quiz and a night devoted to the mighty Stone & Wood


The US Embassy will host cask Sierra Nevada, a night of cans - in collaboration with the Brewers Association​ - and very special beers all week.

18 July 2016

Pick London's best label and win beer


Good beer and good packaging go hand in hand in London: just look at Beavertown and Partizan, whose artist-designed labels have become instant classics. In a city obsessed with how things look, first impressions count.


But what is London’s best beer label? We’ve teamed up with Eclipse Labels, one of the UK’s leading label printers, to find out and we’re offering you the chance to win a case of London beer for helping us.


“Of course the beer is the most important thing, but packaging is absolutely crucial,” says Eclipse Label’s Dave Nutley. “Nobody understands that better than us. Now we’re keen to find out which labels Londoners love.”


Simply tell us - on twitter, instagram or facebook - your favourite and why. During this year’s London Beer City, we’ll pick the best suggestion and reward them with a case of London beer. So get in touch!


London's finest unite for #LBC16


FOUR of London’s best-loved breweries are working together on a unique and very special beer to celebrate this year’s London Beer City festival. Beavertown, Five Points, Fourpure and Fuller’s are collaborating on a pale ale for the 10-day-long, citywide event, which takes place between 5-14 August.


“It’s a delicious blend of British malt and American hops,” says London Beer City organiser Will Hawkes. “I’m delighted we have been able to put together four of the best in the business to create a beer that’ll be perfect for that much hoped-for August heatwave.”


There are plenty of highlights in the schedule for London Beer City, which was published today. The first big event is an opening party at Five Points Brewing Company’s Yard in Mare Street, Hackney, that will bring together 16 of London’s best breweries in a celebration of the capital’s brewing renaissance. Tickets, which include the first drink, are just £5.


But London Beer City is not just about beer from the capital. Three pubs will  become beer embassies for the duration of the week.  The King’s Arms in Bethnal Green will represent the USA, while New Zealand will be represented by the Commercial Tavern in Spitalfields and finally, The Birdcage in Columbia Road will host the best of Australian beer.  All three venues will be serving beer from those countries and hosting nationally themed events.


“America has led the craft beer revolution but the Antipodean nations are coming up fast on their heels,” says Hawkes. “Are we about to see a new leader in the craft-beer world? Londoners can find out for themselves during London Beer City.”


Hops have driven the current demand for craft beer and there’s an event for those who have fallen in love with the little green plants. Simply Hops, the country’s foremost hop merchant, is hosting an event at The Hack and Hop to demonstrate the diversity and flavour of hops from around the world.