For the last few years, it's been hard to ignore that prevalence of craft beer in London. In London, craft beer accounts for an increasing percentage of the 5 million or so pints of beer consumed in London each day.
So, what started it?
Well, it's likely that an increasing awareness of good quality food and drink combined with an ever increasing emphasis on quality and flavour has driven demand. This has been going on in foodie circles for well over a decade. Drinkers had suffered tasteless and uninspiring commercially produced lagers and ales for too long. London has always been a culinary and drinking centre of excellence, so it's little surprise that it's here that many of the craft beers took hold first.
London's craft beer heritage grew quickly, cross-pollinated by exposure to an international pool of talent (and drinkers). Before long, the small-batch American-influenced approach to brewing was the darling of the big smoke. Perhaps fueled by a greater concentration of wealth (prepared to pay the premium for small-batch brewing)? Undeniably in tune with the adventurous spirit drawing so many to the edgy arts and food London has to offer. Before long, it had become a 'thing'.
As soon as craft beer became a 'movement' institutions such as Craft Beer Rising sprung up. Craft beer mavericks Brewdog opened their bar in Camden, The Kernal brewery started up, Meantime IPA crossed from Greenwich into the supermarkets, and kegs with flavoursome beer started to pop up across the trendy bars of Soho and beyond.
London continues to offer a fantastic choice of drinking establishments, some epic festivals, and there's a new craft brewery every week it seems, but the revolution is spreading. It's not just big cities such as Bristol, Birmingham or Liverpool who 'get it'... smaller towns and even country pubs are getting in on the act.
Is your local meeting the demand for craft beer yet?