Well it is over now thank goodness. Back breaking and satisfying though it is, the best feeling now is that we don't have to do it again for a while. Life can return to normal.
We sold out. All but two lonely casks with a few gallons in them. What two? Perhaps no surprises, Boggart Dark Mild was one and the other was Brown Porter from Foxfield Brewery (mentioned in Dave's Beer Blog.) A small satisfaction to me was that the bar I managed sold out completely, so with the main hall empty and the remaining customers attacking the Foreign Beer Bar with gusto in the other room, I took a few moments in the empty hall with a colleague to sample the two lonely rejects. The Boggart wasn't that bad really. Strong for a mild at four percent it was dark, chewy and had a faint underlying earthiness that didn't sit well. At 3.2 abv, the Brown Porter, oddly, one of the most expensive beers to purchase. It was fruity, gloopy, slightly sweet and ordinary. It wasn't the kind of beer you would ever want more than one of. I've a tip for brewers here. Brew beers that you want more than one of. It will help you sell them!
After doing some light dismantling, we retired to the Foreign Beer Bar as by now the remaining punters had been chucked out. My palate was jaded but perked up no end by a bottle of Gueze Boon, its balanced acidity cutting through the past few days nicely. This left me with the dilemma of a nightcap. Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale with its bucketful of hops and a powerful kick of 6.8% alcohol did the trick. I felt content. The taxi journey home was still a blessed relief.
You thought I'd forgotten the Beer of the Festival didn't you? For me it was a Southern interloper, Dark Star Hophead. It was perfect. I'll let you know the official winner in due course.
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