I recently found myself in a brand new craft-focused pub called The Axe, not far from my home here in North London. It was a Sunday afternoon and the pub was playing host to a tap takeover from Brooklyn, USA’s Other Half Brewing Company. The brewery was in town to pour at the London Craft Beer Festival which, a few hours ago, had just ended. It wasn’t surprising that the majority of punters queuing three deep at the bar were the brewers who had been pouring their wares at the festival just a couple of hours ago.
After waiting several minutes for a couple pours, coming in at £4.50 ($6) per third of a pint (6.6 oz.), I mused on what benefits there were for a brewery like Other Half to bring its beer to the UK. They’re not the only hyped U.S. brewery to do so, either. In recent weeks, we’ve seen tap takeovers from Trillium, The Veil—sheesh, Bissell Brothers even put on an entire tour, visiting several specialist beer bars up and down the country. Why, though?
Taking stock of the room, the crowd was full of tired-looking beer makers laughing and smiling as they passed around thimbles full of hazy, hoppy beer. And that's when I realized: you don’t gain footing in a foreign market by spending an arm and a leg air-freighting over a single pallet of beer. But what you do get is the perfect opportunity to hang with the friends you've made from countries all over the world. Sorry for partying?