Craft beers to feature at London Wine Fair


Fordham Beers bottle group 2014The London Wine Fair in June is to have a dedicated beer section for the first time in its 34-year history.

Called Brewhouse, it will be a table-top tasting space dedicated to small-batch, specialist and craft beers. Brewers and suppliers will include Harbour Brewing, Harviestoun, Batemans, Liberty Beer, Fordham & Dominion, Meantime, Portobello, Freedom Brewery, and Williams Brothers.

It follows the successful Pop Up International Beer Competition tasting at last year’s London International Wine Fair. Brewhouse will be curated by beer writer Sophie Atherton, the current holder of Parliament’s Beer Sommelier of the Year award, who will also present a series of themed tastings in the area.

It is one of a series of changes that will see the fair revert back to being London Wine Fair and return to Kensington Olympia from Excel in London’s Docklands. It will run from June 2 to 4.

Sophie said: “It’s exactly the right time for a beer section at a wine trade event because of the growing interest in high-quality beers and in pairing beer with food. It’s something that other brewing cultures – like the US and, of course, Belgium – are already making the most of.

“Deciding what beers to stock needs as much thought and consideration as wine menus do. We think a visit to Brewhouse will enable buyers to put together some excellent beer selections, to make the most of the growing interest and increased sales the category is experiencing.”

Show director Ross Carter added: “There is undoubtedly a crossover with craft beer and wine. We are seeing independent, niche beers appearing in restaurants and in our independent wine merchants more and more frequently.

“Whilst giving our visitor even more of a diverse offering, it also has a real commercial purpose, and we expect this to be a very busy feature for the show.”

Justin Rivett, managing director of specialist craft beer supplier Liberty Beer, said: “We are at London Wine Fair to bring the best British craft brewers to a wider audience. We believe that modern beers have more complexity than they are given credit for and should have a place alongside the world’s best wines, here and on your menu.”

Julie Finnie-Hogg, head of marketing at Heathwick, importer of Fordham & Dominion beers from Delaware, added: “The similarities between quality craft beer and wine are significant. The complexities and range of flavours in both make the possibilities for food pairing infinite.

“In our experience, knowledgeable wine buyers and sommeliers are increasingly open to bringing their skills over to the growing craft beer market. Thus, being here at the London Wine Fair makes perfect sense.”

To sign up to Brewhouse, contact Robert Davidson, via r.davidson@hgluk.com


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