Yes, that gentleman is actually pouring me a pint of lovely flat Bass yesterday*, at the excellent Bury St Edmunds Beer Festival.


I don’t really get Beer Festivals, as you’ll know.  In the words of the immortal Richard Coldwell  “Beer Festivals Are Killing Pubs !”.

But Bury (not that one) is close, the folk are friendly and mostly harmless, it’s a gorgeous town, Roger Protz is there, and they’ve got Bass on.

It also gives me a chance to show you how wildly different the Bing Maps approximation of the train journey (blue line) is, compared to reality.

Not even close, Bing

The train was packed with beery revellers, all in the fancy dress of St Judes Secondary School.

Obviously I can’t show you them

I was wearing my Star Inn Bass T-shirt.


Mr Donut from Tostock is just finishing for the day.  You can trust a town with a specialist donut presence on the market.

I’ll have 18
Future avatar

Bury St Edmunds gets all the modern popsters at the APEX.


West Suffolk CAMRA have expanded into the open space outside the APEX this year, a bold move which has increased the potential for open-air drinking AND that essential musical entertainment we all love with our pint.

Very civilised

I got there before 5pm, so it was nice and civilised, by Bury standards at least.

The queue is for the Pedigree. Possibly.

Free admission for the CAMRAs, and a superb flat Bass, just as nature intended, for £3.50.  They also had Pedigree, Batemans and McMullens for us traditionalists.

Flat is best

Half of me wanted to go to a Proper Pub like the Rose & Crown just then for an IPA, but I settled for a chat and a Yardbird at the Greene King stall.


Sadly, there was no-one who could explain the inexcusable absence of the IPA, CAMRA champion bitter in 2004  (joking, joking).  It was another lovely beer.

Time for some evil keg from Three Blind Mice,  skilfully using up my beer tokens exactly (Don’t hate me, I did leave the glass refund for the charity box).

Bargain keg

All good beers, well priced and in an oversized glass.


The food was superb value, too, some of the best options I’ve seen at a festival.  Special balti and saffron rice for £6.

Talking of food, I then got a text from a hungry 17 year old and had to cut short my toping.  Probably just as well when you see the bottled beer list that might have followed.


*Excuse the short break from strict chronology




  1. I’m down to just the one CAMRA beer festival now, I’ve tried all the substitutes and self-help groups, I just can’t kick the Notts Cider Bar. Beer fests not for me these days, having said that, if there’s a proper ‘festival’ atmos on offer rather than just a hall full of barrels, I can see the appeal, just not appealing enough to walk past a good pub to get there…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “a pint of lovely flat Bass yesterday”.
    Well I had a lovely pint of ‘flat’ Bass in Derby’s Olde Dolphine Inne just after noon nine days ago and a sparkled pint of Timothy Taylors Boltcropper, or whatever it’s now called, half an hour later.
    Ah, so sparklers used or not used as appropriate you might think.
    No, the sparklers were put on ALL the cask beers between 12.18pm and 12.20pm.
    Not that that made any difference to the dozens of twenty to forty year olds smartly dressed for St Georges Day very nearly all of whom were drinking foreign named ‘lager’ fizz !!
    So what’s England really about I started to ask myself but couldn’t be bothered to think it through.
    At least a customer in Chesterfield’s Royal Oak brought out his pewter tankard and well tailored tunic to have a go at it properly, and he drank proper English beer, Black Sheep.


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