Craft Beer Rising has quickly established itself as one of the hottest tickets in the beer drinker’s calendar and CBR London 2016 is set to be bigger and better than ever.* We caught up with CBR founder Daniel Rowntree to find out what they’ve got planned.
Craft Beer Rising returns on the 26th and 27th February 2016. What’s going to be special about this event?
This is our fourth Craft Beer Rising and this time round it’s set to be bigger and better than ever! We’ve rebranded as CBR London 2016, have a brand new look and this time round we’re taking over the whole Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane for two days of great beer and cider.
The ‘take-over’ layout has allowed us to increase capacity for 2016 which means room for 150 breweries and 2000 visitors will be able to attend each session.
In addition there will be a dedicated area for cider producers, called ‘Lost In Cyder Space’ showing off some of the finest ciders available in the UK. CBR London 2016 is now recognised as the launch pad event in the UK’s beer calendar for new and exciting brews and is the place for beer fans to head for the latest product launches, new recipes and innovations in the brewing world. All that, and the rare chance to meet the faces behind the brands.
The token system has been abolished, replaced with paying bars (that are still charging much lower than pub prices!) and this year customers are now granted the option of taking their favourite beers home thanks to a take out license.
Can you give us a sneaky insight into some of the breweries who will be represented?
This year we already have a stellar line-up in the bag so show stalwarts such as Beavertown, Harviestoun, American Craft Beer, Camden, Big Hug and Sharps as well as newbies to the show Edge from Barcelona, Mikkeller, Tiny Rebel and Lervig via Cave Direct.
The event takes place at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. What’s the appeal of the location?
A brewery on Brick Lane with perfect transport links and lots of space, it is a no brainer, also the team at Truman are great to work with.
How did the idea for Craft Beer Rising begin?
I took on a pub in 2010, it served cask beer, it was at that time I started to taste other beers and was introduced to the flavours of Timothy Taylor at the same time as Brewdog. I started going to some beer festivals and realised they did not suit the new demographic of consumers getting into beer. With my new passion for beer and our experience in event production we thought we would create our own festival that offered something a little different.
The craft beer movement seems to be going from strength to strength. Why do you think brewing and beer making has been such a storming success in recent years?
It is driven by consumer choice people want to understand more what they are consuming. They want to have ownership of brands, understand the process and know what affect it has on their bodies. Craft beer plays into this consumer desire.
What do you see as the latest beer styles to look out for in 2016?
I think cask beer will make a resurgence but not next year, but as US breweries start to produce more of it, the knock on effect will hit here soon.
You also dedicate space to cider makers. Do you think artisan cider making is on the up as well?
Definitely you only have to look at the states and the acquisition trail of the bigger breweries is as hot on cider as it is on beer. Next look out for mead!
Your promotional material features a rather dapper looking fox. What’s the story behind the him?
Ahh Foxy! For the last four years we’ve had a rather charming taxidermy fox as our mascot. He was a popular member of the crew and visitors loved having their picture taken with him. Unfortunately this year he ‘went missing’ from our Glasgow event which we were all so upset about! We appealed for him to be returned but after a couple of months we were resigned to the fact he was gone.
For our fourth year we wanted to refresh our brand and it made sense to immortalise Foxy as part of the branding!
And, finally, when the show is finally underway is there a beer you’re especially looking forward to getting your hands on?
There are some surprise US breweries coming, I can’t say which yet, but as soon as they sign I will let you know.
CBR London 2016 will be held at the Truman Brewery, Brick Land, 26-27 February. For more information and tickets visit http://craftbeerrising.co.uk/
*Rumour has it that a pair of digging and swigging chancers will be hosting a couple of talks and tastings at the event.