Every summer, the amount of beery events happening everywhere seems to multiply. Over the next few weeks, I’m taking two new event formats out for a spin.
Firstly, there’s a talk to support my new part-crowdfunded book, What Are You Drinking? If you missed it, this is a new venture with award-winning publishers Unbound, where you can crowdfund the publishing costs of a book, and in return get an exclusive edition of the book that’s a bit classier than the one that will eventually go on sale as normal in bookshops and on Amazon etc, and all copies of the book will have your name in the back as a subscriber.
Normally when someone writes a book, the order of events is that you publish the book, then go out on the road to do readings to persuade people to buy it. I’m now doing it the other way around – we’re closing in on the funding target, and I haven’t written the book yet, but I’m going out doing events to persuade you to buy it before it’s written.
The advantage of this is that you can help shape what goes in the book. What Are You Drinking is an exploration of the ingredients of beer, getting really deep into what makes the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. I’ve been visiting maltings and sour beer festivals, I’ve been to Burton on Trent to drink its legendary well water, and this week I’m going to be helping out with a Maris Otter barley harvest. As I learn, I’m pulling stories together and sharing them with live audiences, and on the basis of their reaction I’m figuring out what goes in the book, and what, if anything, gets left out. I’m also planning on making malt porridges and hop teas so you can taste the ingredients in isolation and see how they impact the finished beer. And obviously we’ll be tasting some finished beers that showcase particular ingredients.
It’s all meant to be light-hearted, but unless you’re a professional brewer with a degree in microbiology I can guarantee you’ll learn at least one new thing that will surprise and possibly even amaze you. If Unbound are feeling generous, I might even be able to get a special code for discounts on pledges for people who attend the events.
The first one is this Sunday – and readers of this blog can get a great discount.
Food Meets Beer Festival At Borough Market
Jubilee Place, Borough Market, London SE1 1TL
12.00-17.00 and 18.00-22.00 Saturday 25th July
12.00-18.00 Sunday 26th July
What Are You Drinking at London Beer City
BrewDog Shepherd’s Bush, 15-19 Goldhawk Road, London, W12 8QQ
Saturday 15th August, 2pm
This brilliant programme of events returns for a second year, linking up the old institution of the Great British Beer Festival and the new challenger the London Craft Beer Festival within a week featuring scores of beery events, many of them with free admission. I’m doing the ingredients thing at BrewDog Shepherd’s Bush, one of the two London Beer City hubs. Proud to be part of this brilliant initiative. Tickets for this event aren’t quite on sale yet but watch this space or check out my main events listing page for updates.
It’s the Drink Talking at London Beer City
Hack & Hop, 35 Whitefriars Street, City of London, EC4Y 8BH
Saturday 15th August 6pm.
This is my new pub-based chat show which I debuted at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival. each evening I invite three guests, including at least one brewer or other drinks wizard, to chat about pubs, drink and drinking, to enjoy someone tutored tasting with the audience and to take part in the already legendary meat raffle. Guests are still to be announced but we’ll be discussing London Beer City and its various works, the highlights of the week, and anything else that takes our fancy. Tickets are available here.
There are more events on my events page – and more will be added. See you in a pub soon.