London Beer City 'will not return for 2018'

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sour times: online beer fans reacted with sadness to the news
Sour times: online beer fans reacted with sadness to the news
London Beer City, the volunteer-led celebration of the best beer and food across the capital of the UK, is not set for a return this year, its organisers have confirmed.

The festival, which started in 2014, was run by a small team led by journalist and beer writer Will Hawkes.

Last year’s festival​ saw over 75 different venues host more than 100 events over an 11-day period, and coincided with the 40th iteration of Great British Beer Festival at London Olympia and the London Craft Beer Festival.

However, it will no longer take place in 2018, or in future years, due to the time and costs associated with running the event.

On the London Beer City Facebook page, Hawkes wrote: “Some sad news, I'm afraid: after four wonderful years, London Beer City will not be returning in August. It has become an increasingly life-dominating task and we no longer have the time to do it justice.

“We'll still be highlighting great stuff going on in London on this Facebook page, though – and the London Craft Beer Festival will be back and, I’m assured, bigger and better than ever. See you there!”

Sad reaction online

Online beer fans reacted with sadness to the news, but thanked Hawkes and his team for their work on the festival in the past.

“Farewell London Beer City, I attended some superb events and will really miss it,” wrote one. “Thanks for all your hard work. The past four weeks have been brilliant. It will be missed,” added another.

Speaking to The Morning Advertiser​, Hawkes said the festival was taking up “too much time and energy” to continue to run alongside his work as a journalist.

“I'm flat out at the moment with journalism,” he said. “I'm writing for about 12 different publications and, to be honest, that's what I enjoy the most.

“My intention was always to help improve the quality of beer in London; that's definitely happened over the past four years, but I'm not sure how much that has to do with London Beer City."

Supporters thanked

Hawkes continued: “There are loads of people I would like to thank for their help. Doreen Barber, Jenn Merrick, Matt Curtis and Anselm Chatwin most of all; they were on the organising committee last year.

“My mate Gordon Smith designed the logo and the programmes. Paddy Johnson from Windsor & Eton, and John Cryne at the London Brewers' Alliance have always been big supporters, and Fourpure Brewery and The Five Points were too.”

Meanwhile, Five of England’s best brewing cities are set to face this summer as part of a new competition​ organised by Manchester Beer Week.

Teams from Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and London, as well as two from host city Manchester, will create one-off collaboration beers that will be put to a public vote on the opening weekend of this year’s festival to decide which city has the best brewing skills.

All of the beers will be launched at the Pilcrow’s ‘Summer Beer Thing’ on Friday 29 June, which takes place as part of Manchester Beer Week, with simultaneous launches held at venues in each of the other participating cities.

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