So it’s the day after the end of Beavertown’s Extravaganza 2017 weekend and what a great festival it was. So many breweries spread out throughout the Printworks London which proved to be a great space for this type of event. 4,000 people were said to be attending the Extravaganza and to be honest it didn’t feel like that many as it wasn’t overcrowded. I went along on the first day on Friday and as I was getting closer to the Printworks I could feel myself getting excited. On arrival we were all given a short snifter style glass for the 100ml pours in this ‘all you can drink’ festival. I’d already looked at the beer list before arriving and I thought I had planned out where I was going to get my samples but as we filtered into the halls I was overwhelmed by the amount to choose from – it was like being a kid in a sweet shop. I saw lots of people had come prepared with their beer lists printed out. I even saw one guy had made a spreadsheet with colour codes for which room the breweries were set up in! I found it impossible to stick to a plan as breweries were rotating their beers on two taps each. You just had to get to the front of the queue and decide when you were there.
My first beer had to be Rubus Maximus, a collab with Wild Beer and Beavertown which has been reprised from 2014 when it was special limited edition batch. I loved this beer when it first came out and was lucky enough to have one of the last growlers from Wild Beer so naturally I wanted to start my Extravaganza day with this. It was just as I remembered, fruity raspberries with a sour kick. It was a good job I went here first as within 25mins of the festival opening the Rubus was all gone!
Some of the main events that got people talking at the Extravaganza were the Rainbow Project 2017 and Buxton/Omnipollo ice cream beers. As I have already sampled Buxton and Omnipollo’s ice cream beers I decided to give them a miss but from what I heard they were doing soft serve again! I had been looking out for the Rainbow Project beers during the Extravaganza as it looked like they would be served at their respective breweries however in the centre of the festival popped up a stand that was serving all 7. I only managed to try two of the colours, Red – Amanecer Mexicano by Magic Rock & Casita Cervecería and Green – Mojito by Hawkshead Brewery & Modern Times, but I have just ordered a Rainbow case to try at home so look out for that post! There was, however, another green beer doing the rounds at the festival. Troll So Hard brewed by J. Wakefield, a sour lemon and lime Berliner Weisse that certainly looked like it should have been in the Rainbow Project. I didn’t get an opportunity to try this but from what I saw of it walking around the festival is that it was indeed an eerily green colour – hope nobody Hulked out after drinking it!
I had even more trouble trying to pick what to eat as Kerb had supplied some really great street food stalls with so many different cuisines on display. After doing a few circuits of the food stalls I decided on a steak and chips with béarnaise sauce which hit the spot after a few beers. I also found an Indian street food stall that were selling onion bhajji bowls. These were amazing giant bhajjis served with a drizzle of mango chutney – I could see why the queues from here were so long!
I saw on Twitter that some people had a few gripes about the Extravaganza, mostly about the queuing and that a few breweries sold out during the festival. To be honest the queuing at the beginning was a bit long but as everyone got into different rhythms the lines got shorter. Also because we were only having 100ml pours people were getting served quickly and you didn’t mind waiting if it was a beer on your list! As for the breweries selling out you could see why as a lot of the big names had the longest queues, Other Half, Wild Beer, Buxton, Omnipollo and Cloudwater to name a few, so it was inevitable that they might be the first to close up. I didn’t feel like this caused me any problems though, there were still plenty of breweries still serving up their beers and it was a good way of trying breweries who I had not heard of yet.
Overall the Beavertown Extravaganza was well organised with a great display of beers from breweries all over the world. I had such a great time and tried quite a few beers, some I loved and others that weren’t perhaps to my taste, but that is what it’s all about. I can’t wait to go again and hope to see you guys again next year!