Plenty of casks and taps at Great British Beer Festival

Plenty of casks and taps at Great British Beer Festival

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

From authentic Czech pilsners to the potent Trappist Belgian offerings, beer aficionados in Europe have no shortage of styles to try. With traditional German Weissbiers and Dunkels crafted according to Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law), and authentic Czech pilsners, it can be easy to overlook other types of hoppy deliciousness, such as the unique tastes of English cask ales. If you haven’t explored the world of British brews, check out the Great British Beer Festival in London from Aug. 8-12.

What is cask ale?

While craft beer has been dominating the scene for several years, English cask ales have stayed quite popular in the U.K. Cask ale (also known as real ale) is unfiltered, unpasteurized and still has active yeast, which causes a secondary fermentation while in the cask. As a result, this creates natural carbonation and arguably a richer and more complex flavor. Most pubs in the U.K. serve some sort of cask ale.

Great British Beer Festival

From Aug. 8-12, the Olympia London on the west side of the city will be transformed into a mecca for beer connoisseurs. Celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, the Great British Beer Festival will feature more than 900 varieties of beer from around the world. While much of the focus is on cask ales, there will be craft brews, ciders and even up and coming English wines available to sample. Visitors to the five-day festival can also try fabulous eats courtesy of some of London’s finest street food vendors. Indulge in savory cheeses and sausages, exotic wild game burgers, or traditional British fare such as fish and chips or Cornish pasties.

Single-day tickets are available online for 11 pounds, or 14 pounds at the door. Planning on making a weekend of it? Guests can purchase the season ticket for 29 pounds, which grants access to all public and trade sessions. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

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