Nothing shows you how much Londoners love craft beer like a lockdown. Since March, we’ve seen a full evolution of schemes to help keep us in posh hops. First, there were the beer deliveries and booze subscriptions, followed by the pub in a box, and then came the boom in takeaway pints. Now that some of us have tentatively resumed trips to the pub, ambitious sights were set to the next phase of the evolution: the craft beer festival. Brew//LDN Summer Sessions was set to take place this August bank holiday. But alas, the hop-heavy event has just announced its cancellation over safety concerns.
‘Difficulties in respecting the necessary government guidelines meant we could not continue without compromising the audience’s experience – this is a difficult decision and not one that has been taken lightly,’ said Brew//LDN organisers in an official statement.
Brew//LDN was due to takeover the expansive Printworks club space to create its socially distanced three-day brewery fest. To make the socially distanced part work, group bookings were taken, with tables seating a maximum of six for a ‘four-hour experience’. Fifty craft breweries had been due to take part, and there was even a line-up of outdoor DJ sets planned for each day.
Independent breweries have taken a financial hit in recent months. According to the Society of Independent Brewers, beer sales were down 82 percent from April as a result of the lockdown, while the government’s recent plans to increase taxes on small brewers will make it even more difficult for microbreweries to stay in business. This news throws another spanner in the works for a struggling sector.
Refunds for Brew//LDN Summer Sessions will be issued to ticket holders in the coming days, and organisers say they are now setting sights on their annual event, still scheduled for February 2021.
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