Friday, 7 August 2009

GBBF Day Three

Thursday. Midway for me and the dedicated band that work the actual festival. Ten hours plus on your feet and it begins to tell. Still we are a cheerful bunch on BSF and we plough on with scant regard to our personal aches and pains. It wasn't too busy to start with, which allowed time to walk around the hall again with an eye to the way the festival is organised. I think personally we need to look at how the beers and bars are organised - I am not sure geographically is best - and talking to a couple of stallholders, some thought may be needed there too, to ensure best use. I advised them to feed back their concerns, which to me, seemed constructive.

No problem with my first two halves of beer. First was the delightful Purity Mad Goose which was beautifully cool, well conditioned, spicy and aromatic, with a good hop finish. It was even served through a sparkler, but alas the server didn't know how to use it. You can't have everything, but the beer was up to the mishandling. Next was Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold. I probably should have had them the other way round, but this was good too. Again clear, cool and good condition.

That was it for cask beer - German all the way for me - other than a large taster of Bridgeport IPA. I liked it, with its complex malt and hops balance. Not extreme, but no worse than that. I had a (private) tour round the brewey in Portland some years ago with the brewer. It is a good outfit with some excellent beers. It was there that the brewer Karl explained the principle of "opalescence" - cloudy beer to you and me. I remain unconvinced on that one.

I had part of last night off to have an early night in preparation for the Friday blitz. Tube problems due to heavy rain delayed me, but a quick couple of relaxing pints in the Dispensary in Leman St were a great contrast to the hectic beer festival. This is the East London CAMRA Pub of the Year. Harvey's Bitter was rather good, but I didn't care one bit for Adnam's Explorer. Nor did I have the guest, Brodie's English Best. I figured it would be unremittingly brown and it was!

The next guest was to be Purity Mad Goose. Talk about lucking out?


Erlangernick said...

Bridgeport IPA--not at all extreme, or at least it wasn't back when I lived in Orygun. Mid-5%, pleasantly hopped.

It actually came to mind last night as I...we did a round of Pils tasting: four Kraut ones and a Victory Prima. The Prima stands out as a sort of not-extreme AIPA compared to the four real Pilseners.

Do you have access to it? Experiment: Compare the Prima to some other Pilses, and then to some not-too-strong, regular IPAs, and determine where Prima should fall into. Bridgeport would be a perfect candidate with which to compare it.

PS: Thanks for the hard work, although I'll likely as never make the GBBF to benefit from it in person.

Dubbel said...

I'm not a fan of the geographical layout either. I haven't been to any other festival that does this (other than having a separate LocAle bar, which makes sense to me).

I think the standard A-Z by brewery arrangement works fine. Or perhaps they could employ a separate 3.0-4.9% A-Z bar and a 5.0%+ A-Z bar?

Paul Bailey said...

I would go with the A-Z arrangement. It's simple, easy to understand and makes a lot of sense. It's not as though there are such distinct geographical differencies, beer-wise, within the Uk any more, so why complicate things?

Woolpack Dave said...

For what it's worth, I thought the layout was quite good, once I'd got my bearings. It's the first time I'd been there so a map would have helped at first. However, after the first 2 hours I found everything and then knew where everything was. Next time, if it doesn't change, it would be a breeze.

More importantly, I can see the amount of hard work that has gone into it. I enjoyed it tremendously and will be back next year, unless I die first. Well done 1000 peoples.

Oh, and perhaps remember, you'll not please everybody. Change it and be prepared for the complaints about how it was better before. Even if it is actually better.