Liverpool Craft Beer Expo 2018

We head down to Liverpool's Invisible Wind Factory and discover the city's best craft beer festival of the year, with beers from breweries near and far.


The Invisible Wind Factory on the docklands of the River Mersey was the venue for the 6th Liverpool Craft Beer Expo. The city was buzzing with Pride festival but this didn’t stop a sell-out afternoon session featuring a range the best craft beers from across the country.

Black Lodge were the local stars, a modern brewery based in the heart of Liverpool’s Baltic triangle. Mangoes to Market, a 4.8% sour was a great start to the day, whereas ‘Lamplighter’ a 8% Imperial Cherry Stout was sweet and moreish. Hugely popular in Liverpool, it won't be long before Black Lodge are making waves across the UK.

Everyone knows that Wylam have been knocking out great beers this year, and they show no sign of slowing down. The recent release of All Formats - a double DDH Citra Pale was my personal choice, using every variation of the Citra hop (whole cone, T90, Cryro & BBC) it was juicy and easily drinkable at 5.2%. Another new release in collab with Braw is ‘What’s the Sense in Sharing’. A dry hop Grisette, this is a great session beer, subtly hopped with lemon drop for a crisp finish.

Another brewer from Newcastle, Box Social, had some of the more adventurous styles. Their take on a Brut IPA was brilliant, whereas the ‘Blackcurrant Ripple’ Ice Cream IPA was the most popular - a shade of dark purple with big hitting dark fruits at 6.5%, it has many returning for more.

Back to a packed out evening session, the winner for best named beer goes to ‘Cold Stone Cream Austin’ from Liverpool-based Top Rope. A different take on this popular style, it’s made without lactose to stay vegan friendly, but still pulls a creamy punch. Their beers and artwork are inspired by 90s wrestling, and their small stand were packed by locals and curious visitors alike.

Many of the brewers were also pouring their recent collaborations on the Northern Powerhouse series, including Magic Rock, Northern Monk and Thornbridge, showcasing the best of the area and bringing the best out of the community.

The Hybrid DIPA from 5 Points Brewing in London was an excellent choice to pair with some of the street food outside featuring Indian kitchen and local heroes Bundobust and the delicious halloumi fries from Hafla Hafla.

Stone Berlin were representing the international brewers, bringing some of their new beers to try alongside the well known core range. The Tangerine Express 6.7% was the highlight - slightly hazy with a huge hit of tangerine, slight pineapple and not holding back on the bitterness. An ideal summer beer, this is the first in a line that will also be packaged in 500ml cans for exclusive monthly releases.

Finally, Northern Monk were well represented, each beer never lasting long. The now famous 'Moobing on Up' sold out in a matter of hours, a juicy 10% TIPA collab with Wylam that has been hotly tipped for best beer of the year. This was replaced by the equally popular 'City of Industry', a DDH IPA that forms part of the Patrons Project range..

As the evening closed, the DJ brought a party atmosphere to the venue, which was continued back in the Black Lodge taproom until the small hours. A huge thanks to them and the Liverpool Expo for a putting on a great show, and we are already looking forward to next year!

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