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Another summer of beer – check out these live events!

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

18.00-22.00 Friday 24th July
12.00-17.00 and 18.00-22.00 Saturday 25th July
12.00-18.00 Sunday 26th July
This is a food and beer festival running on one of the best markets in the world. You buy a ticket for a whole session, and this gets you a half pint of Budvar tank beer and a book of beer and food pairing tips. Throughout each session there will be a variety of tutored tastings and cooking and pairing demos, with events featuring Melissa Cole, Mark Dredge, Matt Curtis, Des de Moor, Andy from Partizan brewing, and brewing legend Derek Prentice.
I’m on at ‘the ingredients table’ at 2pm on Sunday. And if you go here to buy tickets and enter the code PETEBROWN, you get a whopping 40% off the standard ticket price for that session. And it’s at Borough Market. What more could you want?

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.




Why should anyone "crowd fund" your book? I mean surely either a publisher pays to produce it or you pay? Doesn't bode well for the popularity of the final product if not publisher will take it? And if you believe they're wrong and people want to read it, why not pay yourself? There's no shame in vanity publishing if the book ends up selling – just vindication. Take a risk, man!

(Yes, I'll stay anon, thanks. Hope you / others can still judge my comment on its merits though)



I could equally counter, "Why not?" If people want to, they can, if they don't want to, they don't have to.

You may think it sounds like a daft idea. The 360+ people who have already pledged for the book, and the thousands that have pledged for over a hundred other books through Unbound, would disagree.

Unbound is a new and very successful concept in the publishing world, and both the publisher and its authors have won numerous awards. I'm also writing two other books with conventional publishers, on different subjects, but my publisher at Unbound is the same guy who bought and edited my first two books when he was at Pan Macmillan. When he started at Unbound, he asked me if I would do another beer book with him and I said yes. It really is as simple as that.

I could go into the various differences and benefits of Unbound versus the traditional publishing model, but from your tone I'm guessing you wouldn't be that interested.


No actually you're wrong, I'm very interested in your reply and I think it's a great response that's taught me something and piqued my interest in Unbound as a concept.

You don't need to be so tetchy about questions and potential criticism, but judging by your tone I think you find dealing with either very difficult


Sorry if that's the case, but as well as the anonymous comments I'm publishing here from you I'm getting other anonymous comments on the same subject that are plain trolling. The trouble with anonymous posts is I don't know if I'm dealing with the same poster or different people. Apologies if you are a different anonymous poster than the troll who is attempting to post abuse at the same time, but that's the source if my tetchiness.


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