Wednesday 8 November 2017

The end is nigh for London Drinker beer festival

I heard a sad bit of news from organiser Christine Cryne last night: the 2018 London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival will be the last. The hall in the Camden Centre is closing, and in the absence of anyone willing to take over running the festival and find it a new venue, that's it.

They want "to go out with a bang" though, and have lots planned for the final edition, which runs from Wednesday to Friday, the 14th-16th March. It includes judging the Champion Beer of London, competitions for the best low-alcohol (3% or under) beer in London and the best amateur cidermaker, a bring & buy stand, tutored tastings with five London brewers, a free pub quiz, and a VIP session for CAMRA members. 

And once again all the draught beers, cask and keg, will be London-brewed or from members of the London Brewers Alliance, which includes a couple from a little further out. All this info and more is in the downloadable festival newsletter.

The festival will be officially opened by Fuller's John Keeling, at lunchtime on Wednesday 14th March.


  1. The news that 2018’s event will be the last ever London Drinker Beer Festival, marks the end of an era, although I think I’m right in saying it wasn’t totally unexpected.

    The Camden Centre was rather dated and was never my favourite venue for a beer festival; although I can see its attractions – central location, catering facilities etc. I understand the building had been earmarked for re-development for some years. I can also fully understand the desire of the festival organisers to stand down. Having been involved in organising a number of such events, in the past, I know only too well the dedication and sheer amount of hard work these people put in to ensure the beer festival is a success.

    London Drinker’s disappearance will leave a large hole in the beer festival calendar. I wonder what, if anything, will pop up to take its place.

    1. Yes, the hall nearly closed some years ago, as I recall. I have similar feelings to yours about the venue - although I always found it fine up before about 6pm, when the volume and crowding ramped up.

      Perhaps the definite closure will inspire someone else to come forward and organise a successor, in just the way that an organiser saying they'd like to step down usually *doesn't*. Sometimes you need a clean break or a hard stop in order to force change.