This year will see the first ever Haringey Sustainable Oktoberfest – a beer festival for local home brewers, to share and sample each other's produce. We hope to have an authentic local oompah band and some snacks too. There will be beer bloggers, expert judges and fermentation geeks present to offer advice, comment, and kibbitzing.
The idea is for as many people as possible to brew something for the event, then bring a sample along for other people to try. It takes about a month to make nice beer, and the event is in mid-October (13th October in Hornsey Vale Community Centre (60 Mayfield Rd., London, N8 9LP) starting at 4pm. So it's time to start thinking and preparing now!
Just bring the drink that you have made to the Community Centre at 4pm. Whether you are a producer or just coming along to taste and learn, bring a drinking cup; no-one will bring disposable cups to the event, on pain of instant expulsion.
If you have never made any beer before, don't worry. It is really easy to make quite decent beer without any experience and without much equipment or expenditure. You can buy a starter kit to make 10 or 25 litres from a number of different suppliers, and typically this comes with absolutely everything you need. My favourite suppliers are LoveBrewing and The Hop Shop, who do online ordering but are also really helpful on the phone.
If you are feeling more adventurous you can make some nice beer without buying a kit. There are lots of recipes online – start here. I also make some nice mildly alcoholic ginger beer, which is easier than falling off a log, and I've also made kvass, a mildly fermented bread-based drink. Or make some cider with the fantastic crop of apples we have this year. As long as you make sure that all of your preparation bottles etc. are properly cleaned with a weak solution of bleach, and you take care to release pressure when necessary to prevent the bottles bursting, you can't fail. And Wilkinsons in Wood Green sell basic home brew kits.
If you are thinking of coming please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org – I'd like to plan around the right sort of numbers.
The event is co-located with the Sustainable Haringey Network Autumn Gathering, so there will be a chance to hear about all the other great projects and activities going on within the network.