Craft Beer Rising Festival 2016, London; Sneak Preview

The must-try beers and breweries to look out for at London's Craft Beer Rising festival

Ahead of 2016’s Craft Beer Rising festival in London (26-27 February), we spoke to Founder and director Daniel Rowntree to get his top pick of the best beers and breweries to look out for this year.


Five of the best breweries to look out for 

We have all shapes and sizes of breweries and producers at CBR16 from both the domestic and international scenes. They range in size from ‘two-man’ operatipons to family brewer’s (typically around for over 125 years), cutting edge ‘craft brewers’ as well as some of the larger independents. Here’s our pick of who to check for…

Adnams (Family Brewer) (UK)

Adnams has been brewing in Southwold for almost 150 years. Building on this heritage we are now one of the most eco-friendly and forward-thinking breweries in the UK. We even have our own onsite distillery (to make award winning gin and vodka) and an anaerobic digester to turn our waste into energy.

Adnams latest products are Ease Up IPA and Triple Knot, Tripel; both launched at the end of 2015. Ease Up will be on keg and Triple Knot is a bottled product, but we will also have it in cask as a special for the event. adnams.co.uk


We are working with The Hanging Bat and Six ˚North to produce two beers and Craft Beer Rising will get a sneaky peek of one and the chance to try another before it’s finished.

A collaborative Pale Beer 6% – Adnams & The Hanging Bat

A collaborative Imperial Stout 12% abv – Adnams & Six˚ North (Six Degrees North)

Bad Seed Brewery (Small Indie) (UK)

We’re passionate about beer. Beer that makes you sit up and take notice. Beer that makes you want to sing. Beer that makes you happy to be alive.

We make handcrafted, full-flavoured beers, using the best ingredients and innovative recipes. Based in Malton, North Yorkshire, we’re looking to turn the town into a beacon for craft beer.

Since attending Craft Beer Rising last year we have undergone a massive expansion that saw us triple in size.

We’ll be presenting a mixture of core beers and specials –including the last kegs of our collaboration with BrewDog Sheffield for #CollabFest that went to every BrewDog bar in the country.

We’ll also be bringing kegs of our Salted Smoked Maple Ale –smoked malt, maple syrup, a touch of salt and Belgian yeast make this beer a lot of fun. Maple cured beer!

Plus we will have kegs of our Bretted Saison –our core range Saison that spent 6 ageing in barrels with two strains of Brett. Funky as anything. badseedbrewery.com

Cave Direct Belgian Bar (Distributor Belgium)

Founded in 1979, Cave Direct is a leading supplier of craft and speciality beers to the UK Drinks Trade – proud to work with leaders of old and new-world beer, from Beavertown to Westmalle.

As the UK’s biggest importer of Belgian craft beer this bar will host one of the best and most expertly curated collections of Belgian beer in the country this year. cavedirect.com

Mikkeller (Denmark) (Small Indie)

In 2006 he was a math and physics teacher that started experimenting with hops, malt and yeast back home in his kitchen in Copenhagen. Today Mikkel Borg Bjergsø exports his micro brewed beer to 40 different countries and is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world. mikkeller.dk

Sierra Nevada (US) (Large Scale Brewer)

Inspired by the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains, our beers are designed to be as bold, wild and unwavering as those storied granite peaks. With respect to tradition and an unbridled passion for innovation, Sierra Nevada beers are inspired by the philosophy that anything is possible. We are committed to pushing the boundaries of craft beer and we look forward to the day that flavorful beers are the standard throughout the world.

This will be the first time that that you will be able to try the new seasonal keg beer Tropical IPA from Sierra Nevada

Five of the best beers to look out for at Craft Beer Rising 2016

We’ve chosen five different styles of beer and cider to exemplify the range on offer at CBR16. 

Session IPA Beers (Sub 5%)

One of the foremost trends in brewing at the moment is brewers looking at ways to brew lower ABV or more sessionable IPA’s (India Pale Ale) beers, without losing the all important hit of the hop that has been characterized by our American brewing counterparts.

Brand: Brew by Numbers (London)

Name: 11 Session

Style: Session IPA

ABV: 3.8%

A beer with the muscles and swagger of an American IPA at a rather British, sessionable strength. brewbynumbers.com

Summer Beers

Saison and sour beers have risen in popularity in the last year or two and this summer will see no letting up as more breweries attempt to replicate the classic Belgium Farmhouse style… Here’s a classic to try via a collaboration between Magic Rock & Norwegian brewery Lervig.

Brand: Lervig (Norway)/Magic Rock (Huddersfield)

Name: Farmhouse IPA

Style: Farmhouse ale / IPA with brett

ABV: 6.5%

This brew is the result of an unique collaboration between Lervig and Magic Rock. Combining a love of hops and funky flavours has produced this farmhouse-style IPA. Belgian yeasts and brettanomyces will make this beer more spicy over time. Enjoy today and tomorrow. magicrockbrewing.com

Barrel Age

Barrel aging continues in popularity and as it s name suggests adds the finer, darker, deeper notes to a beer as it matures, often in Whisky, rum, sherry and Jack Daniels Casks. We even have a Rioja barrel aged Porter from Little Bichos in Spain, at the show. However, if we’re talking spirit aged beer, why not choose a Scottish one – this is a new release from Highland brewers Windswept for the show.

Brand: Windswept Brewing Co (Scotland)

Name: Wolf of Glen Moray Pork Cask Finish

Style: Barrel aged dark and strong ale

ABV: 9%

Launching at Craft Beer Rising, this is one we can’t wait to taste. windsweptbrewing.com


Cider is an emerging craft force following in the wake of its beery cousin. Here are two to pick from at CBR16 that show how the drink is progressing…

Brand: Kentish Pip

Name: Firespice

Style: Spiced ginger

ABV:  A warm, ginger-infused cider, Firespice is a blend of homemade ginger and spice mix adding a little heat for the crisp winter months. A delicious kick for the adventurous, try it warm, too. kentishpip.co.uk

Brand: Mac’s

Name: Blood orange & cardamom

Style: cloudy cider

ABV: 4.1% 

A cloudy apple cider base cut with the unique bite of blood orange and perfectly balanced by the aromatic warmth of cardamom. A pale blush tint makes this a beautiful pour. macs.co.nz

Craft Beer Rising 2016 is from 26-27 February at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane.

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