How to make the most of London Beer Week in Camden

London Beer Week. Picture: Addie Chinn

London Beer Week. Picture: Addie Chinn - Credit: Archant

Alex Bellotti explores what the week-long festival has to offer, and some of the Camden venues taking part.

Following on from the success of London Cocktail Week last October, London Beer Week is returning to the capital for a second year to introduce experts and newcomers alike to the wonderful world of craft beer.

Taking place in over 100 bars and breweries across the city from February 22-28, the festival offers a £10 wristband providing access to self-guided beer tours, £3 speciality beers and £5 boilermakers (a beer and a shot). A number of venues in Camden are taking part (see below), each supplying a different signature beer as part of the wristband deal.

“I think what’s good about this festival is that it caters for people who are already into their beer, but even if you know absolutely nothing about beer, you’re just going round to bars and trying new drinks that you haven’t ordered before,” says Siobhan Payne, director of London Beer Week. “It’s a really good entry gate into the world of craft beer and beer as a whole.”

Considering the success of British companies such as Brewdog and Camden Town Brewery – which was bought in December by the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, for an estimated £85 million – the market for craft beer is undoubtedly as broad as it’s ever been.

For Payne, the recent boom is primarily down to two factors.

“On one side, there’s been loads of breweries popping up across London – partly because of demand, and partly because there’s a lot of camaraderie around the breweries and they’re working together more.

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“But also as there are more beers on offer, people are realising that there’s something for everyone. It’s not about drinking crap lager and getting really drunk anymore, it’s more about people drinking it in the way they might drink wine.”

The festival will primarily run from a central base at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, where pop-up bars will also offer a range of ciders and tasting events.

For food lovers, Michelin-starred Outlaw’s at The Capital are teaming up with Sharp’s Brewery to provide an exclusive seafood-focused three-course menu, while Meantime Brewery are offering an in-depth exploration of beer and the brewing process.

“There’s been a boom in the more technical side of [beer], but now it’s becoming a lot more mainstream,” adds Payne. “Even your local pub is serving some amazing local craft beers. As it becomes more widespread, London Beer Week is trying to harness that excitement in a way that means anyone can get involved without feeling too intimidated.”

We’re only here for the beer: four Camden pubs involved

Belgo Noord

Location: 72 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AN

Serve: Brugse Zot Blonde – A copper coloured Belgian ale with aromas of malt, banana and apples. Alternatively, St. Bernardus Witbier – A refreshing Belgian white beer with wheaty, apple-like aromas and herbal-spicy notes.

Porky’s Camden

Location: 18 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AG

Serve: Frontier Lager – A bright, golden lager with delicious fruit flavours and a sherbert like tingle on the tongue.

York & Albany

Location: 127-129 Parkway, London, NW1 7PS

Serve: Adnams Wild Hop – An exciting beer brewed with fresh green hops producing a clean, fresh, grassy flavour and aroma.

White Mustache

Location: 7A Stanhope Parade, London, NW1 3RD

Serve: Crafty Beer Flight – Taste the rainbow with a specially curated #LBW16 beer flight.

For the full lineup, visit