12 breweries not to miss at Bristol Craft Beer Festival

We asked those in the know for their brewery picks for this weekend’s festival

Heading to Bristol Craft Beer Festival this weekend? With over forty world-class breweries packing out the harbourside, we’ve called in some of Bristol’s best brewers to give us the lowdown on breweries from the UK and further afield that you just can’t miss. 

Maria Knowles from New Bristol Brewery recommends:

Turning Point Brewing Co, York, UK

“We’ve been watching these guys from afar and try their beers at every opportunity and are never disappointed. Like us they aren’t scared to experiment, pushing boundaries whenever they can and producing modern beers that are far from boring and always exceptional. Their chocolate custard stout and lemon, and orange and Berliner Weisse are particular standouts.”

Northern Monk, Leeds, UK

“I’m actually from Leeds and I guess Northern Monk is the brewery that first truly got me going crazy about craft. Like us, they are totally inspired by their surroundings and home-town and commit themselves to combining the best of traditional brewing values with a progressive approach to ingredients and techniques. Their Hazemaker IPA (a collab with Verdant and Deya) is one of my all town favourite beers – I could literally bathe in it!!”

Sierra Nevada, Chico, USA

“We were lucky enough to travel around California Last Summer, getting inspiration for recipes to take back to Bristol with us. We met with a ton of brewers and breweries and Sierra Nevada was one of our standouts. Like is they brew with the flavour of the seasons in mind, each beer with its own unique character and available for a limited time. Their Triple IPA Hoptimum 9.6% is pretty out there and a definite winner for us.”

Kelly Sidwick from Good Chemistry recommends:

The Kernel, London, UK

“We chose these perennial favourites as one of our seven guest beers for our third birthday party in 2018, as they’re one of the vanguards of the craft beer industry in the UK and a brewery that has maintained a reputation for high quality for all that time. We have complete respect for the way they’ve gone about building their business while seeming to rise above all the hype, all the trends, and all the bollocks!”

Basqueland Brewing Project, Gipuzkoa, Spain

“We heard these guys talking on a podcast with Left Handed Giant which piqued our interest but haven’t sampled many of their beers before, so we’re keen to find out more about what it’s like brewing in this interesting area of Europe.”

Mothership, London, UK

“This new all-female project from London is exciting and it’s another brewery we haven’t had a chance to try yet, so it’s great they got through into the Raise The Bar line-up. Celebrating women in beer is really important to Good Chemistry Brewing, so we’re especially looking forward to chatting with the Mothership team in June.”

Bruce Gray from Left Handed Giant recommends:

Cloudburst, Seattle, USA

“One of the real hype US breweries, I can’t wait to try Cloudburst for the first time. They’ve got a reputation for nailing a breadth of styles and combining awesome art with epic beers. I’ve been hearing great things about them for the last couple of years and it’s a real treat to have them pouring beer in the UK for the first time in Bristol.”

Pohjala, Tallinn, Estonia

“They always bring their A-game to festivals, so if you are looking for extreme, boundary-pushing, high ABV beers that challenge you then Pohjala will not let you down. Lovely people too.”

Verdant, Falmouth, UK

“If you want the best UK juicy Pales, IPA’s and DIPA’s then go no further. If you want to be served by the loveliest people in beer then you’re in the right place too. You’ll find me hanging around their stand most of the weekend!”

Lucy Weaver from Wiper and True recommends:

Collective Arts, Hamilton, Canada

“We love that this brewery are equal advocates of showcasing fantastic beer and supporting creatives, including Bristol’s own Illustrate. It’s not often we see Collective Arts beer pouring in Bristol, so we can wait to try their line up.”

North Brewing Co, Leeds, UK

“Everything North do feels considered, balanced and well executed. Their Herzog Kolsch is a perfect example of this, but likewise so are their more experimental recipes which they seem to have been ramping up recently.”

Vault City, Edinburgh, UK

“One of the four Raise The Bar winners from this year’s competition, we can’t wait to try the fruit forward, mixed fermentation sours coming from this young Edinburgh based brewery. As if that wasn’t enough to garner our attention, Louie the dog (who features heavily on their Instagram) is a beauty.”

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