In most cases, a good welcome would involve the introduction of an alcoholic beverage at some point. However, on this occasion, a collective and conditional passion for craft beer united two teams for the UK launch of Craft Beer Rising’s Best AIPA 2016, Hoppy Ki Yay – needless to say, beers were involved. When a brewery such as North Carolina’s Lonerider fly into London, you need to make sure they are in good hands, or, at least you make sure their hand(s) are filled with cold beer (American Craft Beer Co are good at doing this). Forget serenading music, flashy hotels and political jibber jabber, this is about the beer, specifically a great beer with an iconic Die Hard reference.
So, what happened?
DAY 1 [10/11/16]
“We already lost one at Oxford Circus – cowboy down!”
For the few (eventful) days that CEO, Sumit Vohra and his team were in London, an organised tour was planned to visit the numerous watering holes in which, Hoppy Ki Yay prominently lead the front line. Many of these places are a stomping ground for the American Craft Beer Co range, a shining representation of the UK’s best bars that clearly love good beer, with a good story.
A route planned included the Kansas City inspired Bodean’s BBQ, classic wood-smoked American diner Shotgun BBQ, brainchild of Michelin chef David Moore One Sixty, and the lively hideaway, Indo Bar in Whitechapel – a desirable line up fit for a first’s night crawl.
“We already lost one at Oxford Circus – cowboy down!” – Co-Founder of ACBC, Ed Firth
Good start. Some would say leaving a man on the battlefield would be bad admin, some would say it’s just a work-related hazard – either way, time for some damage limitation.
[9.38PM] – Update. Turns out the guy ‘lost’ at Oxford Circus tried to get through the gate at the station with his hotel card. After frustratingly achieving nothing, this resulted in him ‘jumping’ over the barrier, prompting a swift interjection from transport police and the inevitable ejection from the station. He’s now made it back to the restaurant.
Several, several dozen beers later, the first innings was completed at a very respectable 4.12AM finish time.
DAY 2 [11/11/16]
“We only work with great beers, this is one of them”
The good news was that nobody was ‘lost’ today.
[PLACE GOLD STAR STICKER HERE].
Friday’s planned route consisted of proper London boozer, Old Fountain, the cultured and charming Draft House in Seething, the creatively social Strongrooms and high quality BBQ joint, Porky’s at the Boxpark.
[7.00PM] – Joined by the guys at Big Hug Brewing…good beer is good beer after all.
Upon many conversations with the guys at Old Fountain, the guys simply said “It’s great to get a really really good IPA and this is one of them. We only work with great beers and this is one of them.”
As the metaphorical fog of memory, brought about by sensible drinking of course, continued, there were limited accounts from the night. However, we do know, courtesy of Co-Founder of ACBC, Mark Smith, that, with a positive headcount late on Friday, saw them blagged into a club by ACBC’s very own Head of Sales for South, Chloe Hill, where smoking cigars and drinking Cocktails outside was on the agenda (yes, we do drink *other beverages).
DAY 3 [12/11/16]
I’ll keep this brief. The planned route was simply Singer Tavern, a Hip, airy bar with wood-panel and tile interior. A very cool place. Oh…and passing by Shotgun BBQ we saw a chap outside cleaning the windows in a Lonerider T-Shirt – that was cool too. And so the welcome was complete.
These are no ordinary welcome tours, these are designed for American craft beer breweries, that create true American craft beer beverages and that enjoy American craft beer lovin’ bars.
Article written by Jason Neal.
*not often, if you are reading this from either Steven’s Point, Crazy Mountain or Lonerider, we only drink your beer.