Had a very enjoyable afternoon slaking my thirst at this world class event. I met up with my buddy Frank who had flown from German especially for the day. Frank’s love is for all things British, so he visits regularly. As far as a tipple goes his chosen poison is a dark mild or a porter.
My choice on a warm muggy day moved towards a refreshing brew. A modern IPA or hoppy golden ale.
With 800 beers & ciders available, the difficulty is not lack of choice. The festival catalogue is 80 pages and crammed with information. Tasting notes and a map to find your way round the 20 CAMRA bars and associated stands.
When i think of beer festivals i think boozy, rowdy, smelly places. With lousy food & disgusting toilets and queues for everything. How wrong was i?
The longest i waited for any one thing was to buy my entry ticket. The wait was never more than 2 minites and 80% of the time you could walk straight up for service. Loos were clean and free flowing with visitors. A comfort break as our American cousins would say was taken in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Food was a revelation, i clearly hadnt thought it through, but CAMRA invite quality food providers. All was served in a takeaway style but pasties had crumbly pastry and chunks of meat inside, pies came in a multitude of flavours. I plumped for Gloucester old spot pork pie with crumbly cheese topping.
Later we had hot steak d kidney pies and burnt my mouth. It actually tasted of kidney!
I had outstanding beer from Cairngorm Brewery as Trade Winds. The Dancing Duck brewery and Facer’s Brewing with the aptly named Splendid ale.
Special mention goes to some the Welsh brewers, and brewster who are creating delicious moreish ales.
PurpleMoose, Brecon Brewing, Conwy Brewery, Facers Brewery near Flint. The Waen Brewery, Evan Evans and larger company Brains who sponsored the festival and who created Bragging Rights based on welsh ‘bragawd’ style of beer.
A great afternoon was had by all. And on the back of its success i joined the Campaign for Real Ale CAMRA.