Beer lovers, unite.

This Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, the crew behind Forest City Beer Fest are bringing a taste of Hammer Town to London.

The Winter Pop-Up Bar is bringing 20 different beers and ciders to 211 King this weekend for a two-day event filled with good drinks, food, and music.

Featured breweries include Collective Arts, Merit, and Fairweather from Hamilton, as well as ciders from Revel and KW. There will be some regional offerings available as well.

A taste beyond…

Beer Fest founder and pop-up event director Aaron Brown said the idea behind the imports is to give Londoners a taste of what isn’t available within city limits.

Much like last year’s pop-up, which operates separately from the beer festival, this weekend’s event is all about celebrating local sensations – breweries that are creating great beer, but aren’t available outside their geographical reach.

Sometimes, that means outside the neighbourhood.

“These are super geographical,” Brown says. “It’s too far to justify coming all the way here, so we want to shine a light where (brewers) deserve it.”

Drinks and dancing

If the previous winter pop-up is any indication, beer drinkers should expect a packed house this weekend. Both floors of the old Novack’s building will be serving up premium craft beers and ciders, as well as great music.

The top floor is dedicated to Djs and dance music, with DJs Mark the Mechanic and B Nutz spinning from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Downstairs, people can chill to The Issues With Courtney on Friday and the gypsy sounds of Jumple on Saturday.

Londoners love their beer

Beer culture is exploding in London. In addition to several fine craft breweries already in operation, Brown says there are many more that are either starting out or close to opening. In the age of mega-conglomerates controlling an overwhelming share of the beer market, the new dawn of the micro-brewer is really just hearkening back to pre-prohibition times.

“It’s very new in a way, but it’s also very old,” Brown notes. “Pre-prohibition there were all kinds of places opening up.

“This is the way it used to be.”

The general beer drinking public has a thirst – pun intended – for locally made, small batch products that are outside the mainstream offerings at provincial retailers. The appeal is twofold – try something that nobody in London has tried before, and also staying abreast of current brewing trends and new, exciting offerings.

“There is that fear of missing out a bit, but the silver lining is you have all these products that you didn’t have two years ago,” he says. “It’s a bit of a beer nerd paradise.”

Food for the pop-up is being provided by Zen-Za. They will be offering their signature pizzas as the perfect complement to the beers available.

The cost for the event is $10 per night, or $15 for a weekend pass.

Tickets are available at popupbar.ca.

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