The London Wine Fair is to host a dedicated beer section for the first time in its 34-year history.
Brewhouse will feature a table top tasting area dedicated to small batch, specialist and craft beer brewers and will launch for the first time in June, following on from the fair’s successful Pop Up International Beer Competition tasting in 2013.
Sophie Atherton, beer writer and the current holder of Parliament’s Beer Sommelier of the Year award, will present a series of themed tastings in the Brewhouse alongside dozens of breweries.
She said: “It’s exactly the right time for a beer section at a wine trade event because of the growing interest in high quality beers and in pairing beer with food. It’s something that other brewing cultures – like the US and, of course, Belgium – are already making the most of.
“Deciding what beers to stock needs as much thought and consideration as wine menus do. We think a visit to Brewhouse will enable buyers to put together some excellent beer selections, to make the most of the growing interest and increased sales the category is experiencing.”
Breweries that will be showcasing their ranges at the fair, which will run from June 2 to 4 at Kensington’s Olympia, include Harbour Brewing, Harviestoun, Batemans, Liberty Beer, Fordham & Dominion American Craft Beers, Meantime, Portobello, Freedom Brewery and Williams Brothers Brewery.
Julie Finnie-Hogg, head of marketing and importer of Fordham & Dominion American Craft Beers, said: “The similarities between quality craft beer and wine are significant. The complexities and range of flavours in both, make the possibilities for food pairing infinite. In our experience, knowledgeable wine buyers and sommeliers are increasingly open to bringing their skills over to the growing craft beer market. Thus, being here at the London Wine Fair makes perfect sense.”
Ross Carter, director of the show, added: “There is undoubtedly a crossover with Craft Beer and wine; we are seeing independent, niche beers appearing in restaurants and in our independent wine merchants more and more frequently. Whilst giving our visitor even more of a diverse offering, it also has a real commercial purpose, and we expect this to be a very busy feature for the show.”
Tables will cost £450 for the three days with brewers invited to show their full range of beers.
For more information and to sign up to The Brewhouse, contact Robert Davidson, via firstname.lastname@example.org.