Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Dodgy Geography at GBBF


Heading to the GBBF? Fancy starting off with a calibrating pint of Keighley's finest, Timothy Taylor? So you head off to the Yorkshire Bar don't you? Er. No. There isn't one. Hmm. Maybe the North East Bar, though you kind of doubt it? Nope. Not there either. So where is it then? It's on the North West Bar, along with several other Yorkshire brews. "Never mind" you think, "While I'm here, I'll work my way through some of the Manchester Brews, I've always wanted to get Lees, Hydes and Robinson's on one bar" (now bear with me, I'm just illustrating a point). But they aren't there. Where could they be? Well they are on the Peak District Bar along with beers from that well known Peak District town, Southport. They've even moved Wigan there too for good measure.

I haven't done the arithmetic - someone else has - but it seems 45% of the breweries on the Peak District bar are actually in the North West. The North West bar has 8 Yorkshire breweries out of 22 - therefore only 63% of "North West" breweries are actually in the North West with 37% being incorrectly located.

Does any of this tosh actually matter? Probably not, but surely CAMRA could have come up with something more sensible in terms of naming? Of course if you add in all the beers at the fest, the issue is small, but really. Taylor's in the North West? Lees in the Peak District? I guess you need to ensure the bars are of equal size which I suppose is a management thing, but still doesn't feel right to me.

Don't worry though, I understand that they are going to sort it out after next year when the banners need renewing.

This is a slightly amended version of my original, as I quoted material from a private source. Apologies.


20 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Jersey beer in the Channel Islands? Nope -- separate Jersey bar. Where do I go for Italian beer? Why, "Belgian & Dutch", of course.

Tandleman said...

I assume that Jersey Brewery has paid for their own bar. The Italian section is small and there will be an Italian flag to guide you.

Cooking Lager said...

Which bar is the boddies cream on?

John said...

I'm not sure your average punter will be too bothered about the layout. Last year we just simply wandered round until we found something we liked the look of and then got stuck in.

Tandleman said...

Of course you are right John. I just wrote it as a tongue in cheek piece as I found it all a bit bizarre and quite funny. It wasn't meant to be taken particularly seriously.
(But I know for example, that Lees don't like being lumped in the Peak District.)

Given the size of the GBBF, it is a thankless task and you can't get everything spot on due to the need to manage and staff bars equally. Having said it is thankless, The Orgainisers should in fact be thanked for getting this huge enterprise off the ground and making the beer show better each year.

I'd sort the naming bit out for next time though.

The Beer Nut said...

Lees don't like being lumped in the Peak District.
I'm not surprised. It sounds excruciating.

Woolpack Dave said...

To be fair, there is a very good list on the web site which tells you which beers are where. I've got my list sorted already. Mind you, it doesn't include Lees, Hydes or Robinson's, sorry. Mind you, I don't need to go to London for them, or TT for that matter.

Of course to southerners they will seem like exotic northern beers. Are the organisers insisting on sparklers to correctly dispense northern beers?

Tyson said...

"Are the organisers insisting on sparklers to correctly dispense northern beers?"

Surely that should be "all beers"...?

John said...

Compromises are inevitable when you organise a festival that size, I dare say you have a few more things to consider than simply getting barrels under banners

Tandleman said...

Indeed. Must pack a sparkler or two.

The Beer Nut said...

For the German bar?

Cooking Lager said...

If there is a chap there that looks like a spaced out zz top reject with a cowboy hat, leather waistcoat, with a pewter tankard holstered to his belt like a gun, tell him cooking lager say's Hi, bigs up the respect, and that he is my favourite ever real ale geek. I wish I had the guts to look like that, you wish you had the guts to go about like that. Respect.

Tandleman said...

It's you, isn't it?

Woolpack Dave said...

Cooking, that description fits a guy I know. Although a ZZ top reject I would expect to have a bigger beard.

IS it you?

Cooking Lager said...

I wish. But if you're gonna do the real ale thing, do it all the way is what I say. ZZ top man is the guy everyone in the beer hall wishes he was, and all the chicks wish to get with. The quiet lone ranger with the mysterious tankard of beery joy.

Never kissed a girl, or cannot be certain whether it was a girl, and lives with his mum, I reckon.

Jeff Frane said...

I think this is hysterical. Now you have some idea of what it feels like to land on your wee island harmed with the GBG, trying to decipher the regions used to organize the entries. "Tyne & Wear"? Yeah, that's very helpful.

A pity my copy is at home or I could rag on the book at much greater length. Face it, you Brits are a peculiar bunch, geographically.

Laurent Mousson said...

@Jeff: there's a map showing the regions at the back of every copy of the GBG, so even to continentals like me, there is no problem finding the places I visit.

Paul Bailey said...

Am looking forward to GBBF whatever the layout. Will come over to the BSF bar and say hallo Tandleman.

john.sutcliffe3 said...

Apparently we can't use sparklers at beer festivals because of hygene; not having a clean glass every time. To use one properly you have to immerse the spigot head below the liquid level and this contaminates it. If you don't do this the beer will froth all over and it will take an hour to pull a pint.

michael-j said...

and hygiene probably is a real risk in this case, seeing some typical beer festival attendees.

beer festival layout seems always designed to be awkward - my particular hate is the A-Z method adopted at the smaller festivals (that is, A-Z with about 1/3 in the wrong place) - just grouping casks by style of beer would be easier and far more useful?