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GBBF starts tomorrow

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted August 12, 2013
great british beer festival in olympia
All hands to the pumps: The GBBF last year yesterday. © CAMRA/GBBF

Grab your drinking boots! The Great British Beer Festival kicks off tomorrow.

As everyone with a half-decent calendar should know, tomorrow is Tuesday, August 13 and that can only mean one thing: the start of the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) at London's Olympia.

Opening its doors to the beer-loving public at precisely 17:00 local time following a closed-door trade sesh beginning at noon, the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) flagship event will run until 19:00 this coming Saturday.

According to a CAMRA press release, the beer bash of beer bashes is expected to attract more than 55,000 visitors, all of whom will get the chance to sample over 800 beers from around the UK as well as international brews from Belgium, Germany, Italy and the US in addition to traditional ciders and perries.

Indeed, the press release states, "the festival promises to have something for everyone," ranging from more established brews, including Fuller’s ESB and Kirkstall's Dissolution IPA, to "weird and wonderful beers", such as A-Pork-A-Lypse, a double chocolate and bacon porter from Brains, and St Peter's Grapefruit Wheat Beer.

"There really has never been a better time to discover real ale, with over a thousand breweries in the UK producing over 5,000 different beers," says CAMRA CEO Mike Benner.

"In fact, the choice is so great that this year we have taken the decision to feature just a single beer from most breweries in order to represent the largest number of breweries as possible from across the UK."

inside the great british beer festival gbbf
The tripod has been drinking: Big, isn't it? © CAMRA/GBBF

The pint pulling is set to get underway with a speech by Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis MP, who, another CAMRA press release reports, will announce that 100 pubs have now been listed with local councils in England as Assets of Community Value (ACVs), a move that affords them greater protection from being sold off for redevelopment.

Under new Community Right to Bid powers introduced through the Localism Act, listing a pub as an ACV, this second press release continues, means a pub can't be sold on without the local community first being told.

Listing, it explains, "gives the council greater ability to refuse planning applications from developers and the community up to six months to put in a bid to buy the pub" should it indeed be put up for sale.

"CAMRA's campaign to List Your Local is doing a fabulous job raising awareness of our new Community Right to Bid and I am delighted that 100 loved locals have now been listed as assets of community value," Lewis says.

"Cheers to each and every one!"

"We have known for hundreds of years just how valuable our locals are."

"Not just as a place to grab a pint but also to the economies and communities of those they serve and that is why we are doing everything we can to support and safeguard community pubs from closure."

"CAMRA," Benner adds, "is delighted that the government has recognised the vital importance of pubs and empowered communities to protect them."

"By listing their local, communities are ensuring that if the pub is under threat in the future, there is a much-needed extra layer of protection which 'stops the clock' should it be put up for sale."

"CAMRA's List Your Local campaign is aiming to get 300 pubs listed as community assets."

"We're a third of the way there and we encourage communities to make the most of these new powers to help us achieve that goal."

The news also means that pubs are now the most listed type of community building in England and among the most popular listed assets overall, second only to playing fields, two facts that could no doubt come in handy for anyone currently compiling a list of pub quiz questions.

Along with 'what is an aglet?' and 'where do babies come from?'.

For more information on the GBBF, including opening times (which vary a bit), have a click of this.

See also Sod the Olympics, drink down Olympia, posted 6/8/12, and List your local, save your pub, posted 13/4/13.

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