My last piece ended with “Finally here’s hoping that the next column in not lamenting the failure of a very promising N17 event to issue tickets”. Unfortunately, although the beer was superb, this was indeed the case.
I had suggested to Beavertown that the event should be all ticket. However, they dismissed the idea, as they wanted it to be inclusive, with the opportunity for people, especially virgin visitors, to simply rock up on the day.
These were noble sentiments but I think it turned out to be the wrong decision. There were queues reminiscent of a Soviet bread shop just to get in, while inside it was unpleasant to move around.
The layout also created some issues. There were two major tents holding the guest brewers’ stalls, with each only having one entry point, which led to severe bottlenecks at the exits while inside the actual bars were free.
It is such a pity as the beers were truly excellent. Among the many highlights: the return of the brilliant Beavertown collaboration with Wild Beer – Rubus Maximus, which my partner loves; two sensational Omnipollo/Buxton pours, Cloudberry Ice Cream IPA and the magnificent Chocolate Ice Cream Brown Ale; and last but not least Beavertown’s own Double Chin, which despite the inappropriate name considering the calories we gain while enjoying it, and the slightly strange concept of a double session IPA was a fantastic beer.
In addition, thanks go to the volunteers who did a truly excellent job in difficult circumstances.
Overall, I feel this event was a watershed moment for the London beer scene. It is wonderful that we have such fantastic beers and brilliant that so many people now want to enjoy them. However, it is not a game and the brewers are now in the big leagues and working to much higher standards.
Future events must be all tickets and at a sufficiently high price (at least £10?) that people don’t just book regardless and then possibly not turn up. A tenner is not a lot of money in London in 2016 and quite frankly, it would have been more than worthwhile to experience the excellent beers that were on, but in greater comfort.
Tickets allow more precision in planning, more revenue for the brewery (or give it to a charity?) and yet also a much more enjoyable experience for the customers. It is one of the rare occasions that everyone benefits.
Beavertown makes brilliant beers and have done so much to improve the whole scene. Any criticism should be constructive as their hearts are clearly in the right place so let’s hope any future events are properly ticketed so we can just talk about the magnificent beers.
Reporting from the front-line – Amateur Drinker manages to get along to all the beer things you’d like to but couldn’t.