Not far into my visit to this year’s Great British Beer Festival this occurred.
Yep, being the craft wanker he is Matt “Total Al-es" Curtis decided to bring beer to a beer festival. 900 beers wasn’t enough but when he opened his backpack to reveal a cool bag filled with wonders there was a mixture of "You did what?", "Is that actually a cool bag?!" and "Can I have some?". We had some, and it was nice. Very nice. Gorgeous in fact, and one of the many sour ales I fell in love with on Tuesday.
When I decided to make the trip down to London for the GBBF press and trade day I was so excited about all the beers I could try. I also couldn’t wait to meet up with the host of awesome people I know from The Twitters.
However, rather than feeling like I was being presented with simply an extravagant beer menu there was a different vibe to what I felt on Tuesday. The community. I know these people from various internet shenanigans, but there was something amazing about being sat around our table simply enjoying ourselves. It was a sharing experience; conversations, favourite beers and somewhat ridiculous selfies.
Tuesday wasn’t so much about the beer, but the people.
On arriving, Matt gave me a can of Beavertown’s Gamma Ray. A beer that I’ve heard so much about and yet never tried (being all up in the shire and that). Refering to it as his “favourite everyday beer”, he shared the love. And I will be putting my face in that particular can tomorrow night.
Then there’s Rowan. Horrified that I hadn’t even heard of Cantillon (my Belgium beer knowledge is MUCH improved this week), we shared a bottle of Rosé de Gambrinus. Absolutely stunning! A perfect mixture of tart fruitness and lip puckering sourness. I passed on this wonderful beer to my Jamie the day after. Sharing the beer love a second time!
Andrew also introduced me to the wonder that is 3 Fonteinen’s Oude Geuze. Until this week I’d never even heard of a gueuze.
Gueuze is a type of lambic, made by blending young (1-year-old) and old (2- to 3-year-old) lambics, which is then bottled for a second fermentation. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
And now, possibly my favourite style of beer. I even grabbed a bottle of the same from the Newark Real Ale Store.
To me the whole festival wasn’t about being able to choose from a huge selection of new beers but instead being able to share what you love with others.
Discussion was had afterwards about Chris Hall's amazing idea.
Yes, the logisitics are horrific. But wouldn’t that just be fucking fantastic?
I couldn’t have had worse luck with technology if I’d tried this week but here’s some of my snaps from CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival.
More on the blog from the GBBF later this week. For now… I has sleepsies.
Tonight is the last day of the Dog & Bone’s Kennel Fest. With 16 real ales and 6 ciders on offer it’s a pretty good showing for a little pub. Although that little pub is in fact Lincoln CAMRA’s Pub of the Year.
I had chance of pop down to their gorgeous little beer garden on Friday afternoon (before my hectic work weekend began) and managed - somehow! - to drink three whole beers until I succumbed to the tasty tasty goodness of Titanic’s Plum Porter. Without a doubt my favourite beer of the festival. As well as being a delicious fruity porter (which is somehow still possible to enjoy in this weather) it was kept beautifully in spite of being gravity poured. I generally prefer a nice tight head of my dark brews.
Second to Titantic’s offering was Burton Bridge’s Golden Delicious which definitely felt like an appropriate name. Usually golden brews bore me a tad but this had just the right balance of sharpness and body. It was definitely the quality I usually expect from Burton Bridge.
Please can we get more Burton Bridge beers in Lincoln?
Another brew I enjoyed was Golden Summer by Wold Top Brewry though that’s probably due to that fact my myself to Cascade is like moths to a flame.
I do rather wish I’d had chance to head to the pub on one of the evenings. They had the amazing Stand In Blues Band on Saturday as well as a BBQ. Today there’ll also be live music from Paul Gibbard and Colin Moss from 3pm which may actually be the best time to go. Music, good beer and the Dog & Bone’s gorgeous beer garden? Surely the perfect chilled Sunday?
This is what I love about the place. Even with the beer festival there’s still a wonderful relaxed and homely atmosphere.