Well, I cracked. Despite beer festivals killing pubs and all that, I went to the Great British Beer Festival for the first time.
There’s some things you have to do once despite your better judgement; opera, oysters, non-league football in the rain, a Virgin trains, and the GBBF.
I gave in partly because I didn’t have an excuse not to, and partly because Paul Bailey was going, and Paul is great company when you’re on your own.
Many of you like to see maps showing where places are, so I’ve marked London on this extract in relation to Manchester.
London makes up for the sale of its brewing heritage with some cultural attractions.
Here we have “BRAPA in Legendz“, an improvised ballet piece outside Kings Cross.
And here we have the Mayor of GBBF demonstrating the cutting-edge communications devices now available in West London.
It’s a good job this bit of London gets the GBBF, as there’s no Beer Guide pubs around.
Some gorgeous architecture though, not all of it pubs.
Anyway, you want to see photos of the diverse crowd at “New” GBBF, I guess.
Without any GBBF tactics, I went straight for the craft beer section, got a third of Arkells 3B (NBSS 3, oddly),
and looked for Paul.
He’s hard to miss.
I can’t say I found GBBF that different from Manchester.
The volunteers were all friendly and helpful, the music louder (no thanks), similar food (a bit old school compared to Indyman),
and a stunning collection of old Beer Guides and badges. Duncan was miffed I didn’t get him the rare “Real Ale Guide to Carluke (1977)”.
More thirds of hazy stuff,
a very dull third of American cask (NBSS 1.5), and a quite marvellous sour from the Little Earth project. Four thirds and I was almost done.
A nice variety, of beer though perhaps nothing I couldn’t find in an afternoon in the Northern Quarter (of Bradford).
The obligatory photo of Ullage was taken,
and I bought the Good Beer Guide to Belgium for a bargain tenner.
But I resisted a you-know-what.
But I didn’t resist a half of Tribute from the St Austell bar which turned out to be the beer of the day (NBSS 4), and a half of Landlord wasn’t bad either.
But who goes to London on a day out to drink Arkells, Tribute and Landlord ?