The second annual Brighton Tap Takeover looks set to double last year’s visitor numbers and put on a craft beer party to rival any other.
Run as a collaboration between leading Brighton-based operator, The Laine Pub Company, and beer distributor, The Beer Collective, the festival will give guests the chance to sample more than 100 craft beers over three days.
‘We wanted to try and create a different kind of beer festival,’ Jack Hibberd, director of Laine Brew Co, told Imbibe. ‘We think beer tastes better in a pub and we want to bring more people into beer. We wanted to put the beer festival back where it belongs, which is in the pub. Last year we started off with 10 pubs and this year we have gone for 14.’
Each of the brewers takes over the taps of their partnered pubs to create the ‘World’s Greatest Pub Crawl’, with each of the city centre pubs within a 10-minute walk.
The festival will welcome breweries from as far afield as Barcelona (Edge Brewing), Croatia (Garden Brewery) and Ireland (The Boundary Group). Brewers are also coming from across the UK, with Fierce Brewery travelling down from Scotland, Wylam from Newcastle and Moor from Bristol. London is represented by Fourpure, Five Points and Gypsy Hill.
‘We didn’t want to get the same old names’, Hibberd says. ‘It is about getting the balance between beers people have heard of but names they haven’t tasted yet. We wanted breweries that can put on a party. It has got to be someone that can invest in the whole concept. We have got some really cool stuff going on.’
This year, Hibberd would like to get 4,000 people down to Brighton (twice as many as last year) and sell 200-300 kegs of beer during the festival.
You can learn as you go, at educational events such as the ‘Original Gravity Beer School’ at the Mash Tun pub, ‘Craft Beer for Beginners’ at the North Laine Brewhouse and ‘A journey through punk music and beer’, led by journalist Adrian Tierney-Jones, at the East Street Tap.
Organisers urge people to buy a wristband in advance to make the most of the festival. ‘That way you can then drink some of the world’s best beer for £4 a pint, which is incredible value for money,’ Hibberd says. ‘If you don’t have the time, then you can just go to one of the pubs and taste some of the best beer out there.
‘People can dip in and out of the festival all weekend. We wanted to make something more relaxed and convivial.’
Wristbands for the event – which come pre-loaded with four beers, swag bag and priority entry – are available now for £15 from www.taptakeover.co.uk.
Brighton Tap Takeover will take place from 31 March to 2 April.