Thursday, 5 August 2010

So Far, So Good

It's been a mixed festival so far here at GBBF. The Trade Session brought a chance to meet bloggers that I had and hadn't met. It's getting like beer ticking is beer blogger ticking, but I think I'm slowly but surely getting there. The end result though is a lot more fun. Beer bloggers are such nice chaps and chapesses. Trust me on that one.

What has made it mixed? Not the festival, but my knee is giving me gyp, causing a slightly jaundiced view of being asked to repeatedly get beers from the opposite side of the bar, but that's customers for you. The up side of serving, as always, is being able to point people in the direction of beer they subsequently enjoy. That is satisfying in a smug sort of way, but also hopefully, lasting in its effects.

On a similar subject, I had a long chat with Des De Moor, the bottled beer guru, who was collecting beers for review. He wasn't too disappointed to find the rarities gone. As he explained to me, when he writes about beer, he likes his readers to be able to obtain them. Feet on the ground there Des. Well done!

I can't finish today's brief note without a mention of the various Scandinavian beers which are on our bar. No names - sorry, but many seemed to me to be a work in progress. Several over excited types bought the more exotic ones and some were returned to tip down the drain. At anywhere between £4.50 and £9 a pop, that's a lot to pay for optimism - or is it bravado? Some are or rather, were, astonishingly strong. The exception to this quality and recipe issue is Mikkeler, though I have to say, excellent though they certainly were, the single hop beers, well the ones I tasted anyway, while very good, were a little samey. I'd guess that's the high alcohol content.

Must taste them when I'm sober next time then!

Best beer for me so far is Cantillon Kriek. It's the perfect reviver as you near closing time!


BeerReviewsAndy said...

I think i know which ones you mean, I tried a sip of one and it was foul, i was then told what it was and its price and shocked is an understatement.

The mikkeller stuff was teriffic tho!

ZakAvery said...

I must say everyone I spoke to on the BSF bar was very nice and well-informed. My heart went out to the server who was getting a bad-tempered lecture from a fewtival-goer about filling his glass right up to the half-pint line: "There's a line on there, mate, and you're supposed to fill it to that line".

The staffer took it patiently on the chin, and when I said "I bet that's why you keep volunteering, isn't it?", he just rolled his eyes, shook his head and shrugged.

John Clarke said...

Well I brought home the Mikkeller American Dream (tried at GBBF so I know it's OK), the Midtfyns Imperial Stout, which I expect to be good, and the Horn Black Magic Woman (tried in Brussels ealier this year) and I know is great.

Tandleman said...

Well given the price there was limited opportunity to try them, but then, knowing you, you will have chosen well.

Just saying they aren't all world beaters it seems.

BeerReviewsAndy said...

Glad to hear you say that John, I too got a black magic woman, tried the american dream while i was there....loved it.

Tyson said...

"many seemed to me to be a work in progress".

I'll say. The phrase over-priced shite comes to mind.

John Clarke said...

I guess this just goes to show that micros are the same the world over - you always get the good, the bad and the ugly. Trouble is there are some who say "foreign micro = bound to be good" and nothing could be further from the truth. Like Zak I also tried a couple of tastes of the Revelation Cat hopped lambic or some such stuff - vile beyond belief (between three of us we couldn't finish a one third measure)

RedNev said...

I'm a regular festival volunteer, and once at Wigan the beer actually reached the bottom of the line, which is of course less than a millimetre thick. I topped it so it was level with the top of the line, partly because of his complaining tone, and partly because he was obviously hoping to get well over the half pint.

A few years ago, the Oldham Beerex put on 150 beers to celebrate 150 years of Oldham Council. One drinker said we should be giving the beer away free. When I realised he wasn't joking, I asked why. It was because we only had 145 beers on, owing to beers not arriving or not having settled.

I told him that if he could find a pub in Oldham with more real ales than we had on, I would personally ensure he had free beer all afternoon.

Most customers are great, but an irritating few are complete idiots.

Jeffrey said...

Shame I didn't see you at GBBF on Tuesday, but then we had such a great catch up tonight. Great to see you and E here at the Gunmakers and enjoy a few pints. Sparklers rule!

Matt said...

Sparklers rule?! That doesn't sound like the Jeff of old!

Tandleman said...

Jeff - Great to have a few with you last night and catch up. E sends her regards.

Matt - Jeff uses his sparklers with discretion, but they are available on request and that's fine. I think he is a convert in moderation - if that makes sense.

The Bitter and Twisted was rather good. Sparkled.

Tyson - Well yes really in some cases.

Erlangernick said...

Did you get a chance to take the piss out of many Yanks?