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The Brits love a tipple and while wine may be continuing to increase in popularity, a good ol' British beer is still the drink of choice for most.
So it's exciting news to hear that Earls Court will be playing host to the upcoming Great British Beer Festival – last year an impressive 64,000 beer-lovers turned up for a sup, with more than 500 drinks on on offer, among them a range of ales, fruit beers, stouts, bitters and ciders. There'll be a bevy of international bevvies represented too.
Organised by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), the popular festival isn't only about lapping up the liquor – there's a lot more going on besides. Here's a taster of what's on: Tutored tastings with Roger Protz, talking about 300 beers to try before you die (though perhaps not all in the same evening); Hank Wangford (try saying that after a few pints) performing some folk and country numbers; The Blockheads will also be performing; an auction of brewery memorabilia; a pub quiz; pub games galore including table skittles, shut the box and table football; and tombolas with prizes such as bottles of beer, T-shirts, beer-related books and more. And you might be interested to know that on the opening day the Champion Beer of Britain will be crowned.
With all that going on, just make sure you don't forget to actually try some beers.
Representatives from a list of breweries as long as your yard glass will be at the festival, including two award-winning Wiltshire breweries - Hop Back Brewery and Downton Brewery; and Harveys of Sussex will also be there, touting their popular 'Best' bitter.
Tickets are cheaper in advance. More details here.