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.

Only 200 miles from the real world, folks

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.

Get a proper job

And here we have the Mayor of GBBF demonstrating the cutting-edge communications devices now available in West London.

Great beard, Sir

It’s a good job this bit of London gets the GBBF, as there’s no Beer Guide pubs around.

GBG desert

Some gorgeous architecture though, not all of it pubs.

Proper tube station
Proper pub with NFL

Anyway, you want to see photos of the diverse crowd at “New” GBBF, I guess.

No, it’s not Si

Without any GBBF tactics, I went straight for the craft beer section, got a third of Arkells 3B (NBSS 3, oddly),

A generous third

and looked for Paul.

He’s hard to miss.

But did you vote for Arkells as your beer of the festival, huh ?

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),

The highlight
No comment necessary

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)”.

Hygiene & Safety the CAMRA Guide to Maidemhead

More thirds of hazy stuff,

NBSS 3.5

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.

Craft behind the kegs

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,

It gets everywhere

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 ?

Oh, me.


24 thoughts on “I GO CRAFT CRAZY AT GBBF ’19

    1. London was the only region of England and Wales not to give the Brexit Party a majority at the recent EU Parliament elections. It’s like another country.


      1. Such a shame that in this civilised, educated and reasonable part of Blighty so many residents seem to be stabbing each other to death.
        Still, it’s a small price to pay for cheap domestic staff.
        Hey ho.


      2. It’s a pity that the Donald doesn’t address Baltimore, say, with a homicide rate over thirty times that of London, rather than attacking London’s popular, democratically-elected mayor – who actually did get more votes for him than against him.

        All of these crimes are terrible but, at least efforts are being made here, whereas nothing seems to be being done to stop thirty thousand Americans shooting each other dead each year with guns that are apparently more easily bought than a pint of beer.

        And yes, for just one weekend, the London homicide did spike to as bad as New York’s.

        The rate per square mile is similar to that of other densely-populated areas of the UK too, such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. It’s just that there’s a lot more of London.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This would be the Baltimore that is 100% controlled by the Democrats.
        Like that other dump San Francisco.


  1. Simons Sausage , ” no comment necessary” , oh alright then.
    “But who goes to London on a day out to drink Arkells, Tribute and Landlord?”, not I sir, but fair play to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit, Martin. I enjoyed your company along with the chance to compare notes and catch up with what’s been going on.

    You did the right thing leaving when you did, because after several more thirds/halves, the beers just merged into one. I think my friends from West Kent CAMRA, who I bumped into and spent the rest of the session with, felt much the same.

    I’m pleased to report that you weren’t the only customer to go for the “old school” bitter, as I enjoyed a glass of the excellent Holden’s Black Country Bitter, whilst the Three Tuns XXX, brought back memories of a visit to Bishop’s Castle, forty plus years ago.

    For my final beer of the day, I too made a visit to the St Austell stand. The half of Korev Keller; an unfiltered lager was refreshing, nicely chilled and a good one to end on.

    A visit and a meet up in a provincial town has been mooted for next year. I think this is indicative of GBBF fatigue setting in, even amongst seasoned festival fanatics. I’ve already put my name down for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Three Kings used to be my local when I lived round the corner in Lanfrey Place.
    Used to get quite tasty when Chelsea were playing at home.
    Although on the other hand you could buy virtually anything you wanted from the collection of rogues who made up the regular clientele.
    In other news I hear it’s been an interesting day at the cricket.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Really now, the name of that sausage company is clear proof that people around the UK are starting to deliberately name things with an eye toward getting laughs from the readers of your blog. 🙂

    I we should all chip in the money needed to buy one of their tee shirts as a gift for Mr. Everitt:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had to check this wasn’t my own blog post! Identical other than the frankly impossible latitude and repeated use of the word ‘London’ (count them).

    My beery deja vu was at Peterborough of course, located in the more familiar and affordable East-East Midlands, and yes I too bought a book (the only reason I went) and had a couple of halves of beer that I regularly drink in nearby specialist pubs NBSS score -1.5 what they are in their homeland. The point? Absolutely no idea…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Can’t see that on your excellent blog yet Mark, but I can picture it.

      Mrs RM and I did the Peterborough fest by accident in 2016. I think the food was better than London, and even 3 years ago the keg collection was pretty good.

      We were there 40 minutes then went to the Sam Smiths pub.


  6. Like the idea of a GBBF Mayor but still have never been there. Not really my thing though the first day is apparently less of a scrum. Still hoping that Carluke Guide will turn up in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

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