It’s that time of year again, when I drag myself away from Proper Pubs and to a big tent on a big field to drink big beers.

But first, Cambridge. Resplendent in a heatwave that’s gone already.

And a new Antony Gormley exhibition at Kettle’s Yard.

Yes, I’ve seen that one somewhere before, too. And this one.

Right way up

You don’t get culture like this on BRAPA.

In the queue I spoke to a volunteer from Sedgley about pubs. Apparently they have a few round there. Must investigate.

Straight to the Keg bar.

Richard will be pleased to know I started with a lager from Brass Castle.

At that very moment I bumped into Kevin, an Estates manager who made my last 5 years in the NHS bearable. He’s the second most cheery retiree in Cambridgeshire.

Kevin had also picked the Helles, as he was born in Malton (and you can tell). He was moving on to beers from the home towns of his wife and favourite sheep next.

I went for a Dave, named after one of the famous Southworth brothers about to grace our island. After sampling mine, Kevin did the same.

It was top-notch (NBSS 4), a complex dark beer escaped from Gtr Goole.

Then I saw a queue forming.

So being English, I joined it. Five minutes later I was the proud owner of a Cloudwater DIPA, the beer that made murk fashionable.

Then my best man Wayne walked past, and we discussed the importance of clear display of micro pub opening hours in Janet.

Not really. We said “y’all right. Fancy seeing you here”

I met a lovely elderly couple from Meldreth, attempting to try ALL the beers over the week.

Don’t be like them. Be like Kevin. Drink a beer brewed in the hometown of your family.

Or just follow the queue.


  1. The “volunteer from Sedgley” is probably someone I know.
    Brass Castle will have been the closest to Bass you could see.
    That’s how to sell pressurised beer, get a couple of people to start a queue and then everyone goes for it.
    And have you noticed how with “craft keg” at beer festivals the canisters are always hidden from sight behind boards, a bit like Autovacs being under the counter ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Martin,
        So a young member. No, I don’t know him.
        We are now told that strong beers should be “craft keg” because they’re not suited to cask conditioning but all those years ago I couldn’t fault Marstons Owd Roger, Robinsons Old Tom and Lees Moonraker from the cask, nor nowadays that 10% Thomas Sykes Ale that shouldn’t be confused with the Thomas The Tank beer from the same town.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Spot on. Best beer at last Manchester Beer fests was Moor Old Freddy Walker and Lees Harvest. Both perfect (though I did “fall asleep” after the Harvest to be fair).


  2. I was Treasurer of a festival, now some years ago, and the average punter drinks four pints so twelve thirds might be more realistic. ‘Still not there’ as you say.

    Personally I prefer to savour a beer and I don’t think you can really assess a brew until you have had a pint, and seen if the last of it is still good after half an hour warming up in the glass. I used to go in for pub/beer ticking and wouldn’t count either unless I had at least a pint. The only exceptions were beers like Thomas Hardy and Gales Prize Old that were normally served in bottles that were less than a pint – although I do remember a CAMRA festival that had Prize Old on draught and I finished up on a pint of it – in fact for free as the festival had officially closed (it was Sunday afternoon) and the remains of the beers were being given away. Luckily I got back home.

    Some years ago I was visiting Muenchen with a couple of friends. Visiting one pub we just ordered “drei helles” and the lady returned with three litre-mugs. Taking more notice of people around us, it was definitely the normal measure. The carbonation in German beers seems much lighter than British keg but I really wonder how many British beers would taste as good as I recall, even towards the end of a litre?


    Liked by 1 person

      1. “The average is more like 3¼ pints nowadays.”

        Isn’t that the new health guidelines for a week’s worth of drinking? 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Yes, I’ve seen that one somewhere before, too.”

    I’m guessing that’s the *cough* ‘adult’ version of Jenga? 🙂

    “Right way up”

    So that’s where they store the backups for the sea-men.

    “You don’t get culture like this on BRAPA.”

    Si’s more into punk, goth (?), and every day hurly burly street-wise culture. 🙂

    “from the home towns of his wife and favourite sheep ”

    Look at how I’m not being risqué! 😉

    “the beer that made murk fashionable.”

    Funnily enough I’m drinking a hazy IPA right now. New to one of the local liquor stores I frequent. It’s not bad.

    (the one on the left)


    PS – “Don’t be like the.”

    The what? 😉
    (or maybe that should be ‘them’)


  4. Come to Clifford Beer Festival and you can have as much Brass Castle Helles as you want, I’ve got three kegs of it! Hoptical Illusion too and a stunner from Verdant. Plus 30 cask ales, including BBB for the ‘I never try anything different’ brigade.


  5. Once again everyone (even Russ) has ignored the burning question …

    …but undeterred after a marathon catch up of Martin’s May posts – I’m here to ask it….

    “He’s the second most cheery retiree in Cambridgeshire.”

    Who is the first…?


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