The lovely Lisa was making her hajj, having never been before. She shall now be known as El-Hajj Lisa. Or maybe not. Despite the beer list being available in advance we hadn't worked out a plan of action. There were just so many beers it seemed overwhelming. This lead to us wandering round aimlessly, feeling even more overwhelmed now we could actually see all the beers, stopping to refill our glasses as needed. It's quite knackering doing it this way, and I'm sure we didn't get the best of the beers available, so I really must try harder next time. Having the next day off work to recover wouldn't go amiss either!
I myself had a first as, twenty years on from my first GBBF, one of my own beers was being served. Let's hope this is a regular event.
We missed the announcement of which beer had won the Champion Beer of Britain as it started off with some MP droning on which isn't really my thing, and then the Betty Stoggs marching band started up again which meant we couldn't hear anything except drums anyway. I was pleased when I found out later that Mighty Oak Oscar Wilde Mild had won. This means I'm ahead of the curve as far as beer nerdery goes, because thanks to a recommendation from young Rob I'd sought it out last year and been suitably impressed. So impressed I'd even bought a half this year before it was announced it had won.
What with the 12 noon start and the constant wandering we were flagging by the time the doors were opened to the public at five. We thought that was a good time to call it a day. It wasn't though as were were soon suffering the stifling, crowed commuter train home. We'll just have to stay later next year.
Thanks to all the CAMRA volunteers for giving up their time to make this festival happen.
Strange things happen at beer festivals