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?
North Downs Way - Wye to Chartham - *Pilgrims on their way to Canterbury* Last *Friday* I joined three friends for a 12 mile hike along part of the *North Downs Way.* One of the friends has...
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