Admirable idea to get 100 artisanal beers in a nice pub like Craft Beer Co., Clapham. But therein lies the rub. It’s always going to be a victim of its own success. So get there early on a weekday. Also the crowd, or lack of it, is much more diverse than the beer geekery who descend in the evening.
Twenty six beers in the launch/exclusive/collab section meant that you were tempted not to look further – and I’m not sure I did. The International Rainbow Project beers were still around at this time and for me the Wild Beer/Toccalmatto collab was unmissable, Indigo Child was as good as I’d expected, marvellous balance and depth.
It’s a nice venue, astroturf garden at the front and the back, where they put the cask beers and some interesting food, dosas on this occasion. (Stick with craft pork pies and sausage rolls imho). By the evening the place is heaving though, making it unpleasant.
Kernel’s Glen Garioch Barrel Aged Stout was the usual impeccable quality. Am I alone in thinking that Kernel’s real strength is in paler beers. Their IPA and Pale Ales are the nonpareil of British brewing. The Berliner Weisse is a lovely re-addition to the British scene. But the stouts, mmm, they are good, only. (NB Don’t bother looking for a description of the beer on the Kernel site, they don’t do that stuff, uncool maybe?).
Following the path less trendy, Kent Brewery’s Pumpkin Saison was lovely. Spicy, sweet in a good way, nice. You’ll have to take my word for that as it’s disappeared from their website now.
It’s a ‘festival’ that you have to go to for the great and rare beer – but get there early.
Beer selection: 8.5/10
Beer quality: 8/10
A good night out: 7/10
Total score: 40/50, 80%