The Brewers Association Export Development Program (EDP) recently participated in the 2016 Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) and satellite events in London. More than 30 EDP members sent 142 different beers for the week of events, and five BA member breweries sent representatives.
Reception for the Guild of British Beer Writers
The week began with a reception for the Guild of British Beer Writers. This annual social event brings together some of the world’s leading beer writers and media to sample and discuss beers before GBBF. The event took place at Tattershall Castle, and provided a superb opportunity for the international media to sample U.S. beer—which proved to be very popular with attendees.
American Beer at GBBF
GBBF officially began on Tuesday with a trade day for media, retailers, importers and those is the beer business. The American beer bar was absolutely packed and easily the busiest bar at the festival. There was an exciting buzz around the bar as key importers and brewers met to discuss opportunities.
Later in the week, the BA’s Craft Beer Ambassador, Sylvia Kopp, presented a tutored tasting to 70+ people at the festival. Sylvia’s presentation was first-class and her beer knowledge, expert palate and passion captivated the audience. Every seat was taken and more could have been sold. The feedback was highly positive, including huge praise from Roger Protz, well known British writer, journalist and CAMRA member.
American Canned Beer Event
The EDP also organized the Canned Beer Event during London Beer City, a week-long celebration of beer around London. This event was created to highlight canned American craft beer and took place at the well-respected The Kings Arms, the designated American focal point during London Beer City.
Vegetarian Beer Dinner at Salon
The highlight of the week was the Brewers Association’s vegetarian beer dinner. Led by Brewers Association’s Executive Chef, Adam Dulye, the dinner paired rare American beers and vegetarian food. The event was held at Salon in Brixton, a local restaurant with a focus on seasonal and inventive ingredients. Dulye worked in collaboration with Chef Nick Balfe to create a vegetarian menu designed to demonstrate the versatility of U.S. craft beer.
Ten U.S. craft beers ranging in style from gose to imperial stout aged in rye whisky barrels were expertly matched with five courses of locally-sourced vegetarian food. The event was attended by the UK’s leading beer writers, media and a number of American brewers who made the journey to London. Stan Philips, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs, and Julie Nicholson, a London-based agricultural marketing specialist at the USDA also attended the dinner.
The immaculately presented and paired dinner resulted in extremely positive press coverage and served as an effective means of gaining awareness for American craft beer brands.
Here’s a great example of the coverage of the vegetarian and beer matching dinner: US beer brightens Brixton food scene by Roger Protz.
Learn more about the BA Export Development Program.