The London Christmas Beer Festival

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Last weekend saw another excuse for us to visit our new favourite place, King’s Cross’s Coal Drop Yard. After the Samsung Coffee Workshop we meant to go back and see what else we could find in the redevelopment and what better reason than BEER!?

Ash happened to notice that Gipsy Hill were making an appearance at this year’s London Christmas Beer Festival on the 7-9th Dec and Bob loves Gipsy Hill’s Sours.

So we decided to pop along on Saturday afternoon. We got there around 1.30 and then spent half an hour trying to find it, because Coals Drop Yard is a vast space and the Canopy Market is not just one part, there are sections all around the fountain court yard. So after wandering and wondering if we had the wrong weekend and a lot of asking, we finally found out that the section of market it was in was next to Waitrose on the Southern end.

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We finally found it.

It was basically a market of small, boutique stalls that sell extremely expensive bread, candles and tea towels (we are talking £13 for a loaf of bread and £45 for a towel!) In amongst all the trendy vendors, were a few stalls manned (and womanned) by Breweries, Beaverton, Kernel, Peckham Rye and Gipsy Hill, plus a few Beer Retailers. The selection of beers were at the most limited and many were a choice of two or three IPA’s. 

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We started off with Gipsy – it was the reason for going after all – and Bob got a Blitzen – Christmas Krick Style Sour and Ash a Social Brew Collective NIPA , both were pretty good, Bob liked it so much she wished she’d gone back for seconds.

We wandered around listening to the out of tune singer and enjoying the jazzy funk Christmas tunes (one of the highlights of the day) and searching the stalls and being shocked at the prices and looking to sit down. Also observing the strange strange people who took their ‘baby for a walk?’

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There were clearly not enough seats because those sitting at the benches were very possessive over the spaces.

We returned to the Beer stalls and the Peckham  Stall for a second drink, bob had a Kiwi and Lime Sour which was baaaaad and she struggled to drink it and Ash a bland Red Beer.

We went wandering again, finally finding a corner of a bench to sit in and fight off the occupants who were clearly upset at us daring to sit at THEIR TABLE. 

We tried some cardboard crisps and discovered just how many ingredients were are allergic to can be put into one crisp!

We returned for a third beer at the Kernel Brewery, one we have had before and discovered that most of what they had advertised was not available, so Bob had the Not At All Sour and Ash had the Oyster Stout which was a bit watery.

We looked for food and plumped for the Turkish Kitchen’s Feta and Spinach Wrap between us. Of course we had relinquished our seats and so had to search again, we ended up out the back of Waitrose on some steps in the rain to eat our wrap, which wasn’t bad at all.

After that we decided not to chance any more beer disappointments and called it quits, heading for Waitrose, to do a bit of shopping and then to the bus home.

Overall a rather lacklustre event and not really worth the fight through the rain or the aggressive seat ogres.


Did you attend the Beer Festival, did you have better luck with beers and seats? What were your highlights and lowlights? Let us know in the comments and join us again soon for another post.

 


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