Thursday, 4 August 2011

So Far, So Good


It has been hot, nay hot and humid in Earl's Court. That's my first observation from a staff point of view and judging by the sweaty, red, flushed faces, the customers are feeling it too. Or is that just the drink?  One old fashioned type among our lot measured the air temperature behind the German/Czech Bar. An astonishing 90F. And as humid as Hong Kong. That's made it hard for us. The customers at least aren't flying up and down serving beer.  The staff all seem cheerful enough though and so do the punters.

Talking of beer, there was little discussion among us about the Champion Beer of Britain being a mild - maybe a few eyes were raised heavenwards - but those that react with astonishment might like to consider the make up of the final judging panel. I was told a few names. I don't know it in its entirety, but put it this way, some judging will fondly remember mild when it was much more widely available than it is now. 

BSF has been split up and scattered across the hall, which has disconcerted and disoriented a lot of us. The geeks are vexed too. It has meant an expanded Czech selection for us and some are crackers, particularly the IPAs and the one infused with ginger. Some seemed works in progress, but show a lot of innovation and promise. The American cask beers have been roughly divided into two sets in my mind. The almost undrinkable and those that go further than just a ton of hops and over the top alcohol. I enjoyed quite a few of each and you know, the cask conditioning was spot on. That's an improvement too.  I haven't come across the London Dark Lager yet though, but will be looking out for it today.  Of other beers tried, two lovely draught krieks on the Belgian bar and one or two cask ales also seemed top notch, but that's all I have been able to try so far. Again the cellarmen have been on top of their game.

It has been very busy at times, but I have no idea of numbers through the doors yet. Trade Day was fun, with many old friends met and lots of people to chat with too. I won't say which well regarded beer writers were more or less completely pissed, as more or less, they all were. Bloggers too were numerous and sufficiently oiled to be going on with.

So, so far so good. Three days to go and though my feet are sore - the floor in Earl's Court is hard - 'm surviving. Today it is ten degrees colder and I have a night off. I might take E for a drink. Gunmakers and Craft?

The Great British Beer Festival at Earl's Court continues until Saturday.

12 comments:

TaleOfAle said...

Sounds like I am missing out. Though that is not the sort of heat I enjoy.

Bailey said...

Good to read an update from the other side of the bar. It's been weird experiencing GBBF only virtually this year, but surprisingly evocative, with so many tweets and blog posts to enjoy.

Lars Marius Garshol mentioned on our latest post that Norwegian homebrewing competitions were being repeatedly won by milder, weaker beers until they changed the personnel on the judging panel, when suddenly IPAs, barley wines, etc. started to get a look in.

Tandleman said...

I don't really know if this influences things or not, but just observing that perhaps it might.

SteveF said...

Saw your tweet recommending Andeches Helles fairly late on last night, so I went with the expert advice. Excellent and refreshing way to end proceedings. I must admit to not knowing my German beers very well at all and now I regret not spending more time sampling them. Oh well, still got through some excellent beers.

Oh and it was seriously warm, albeit with nice pockets of coolness that I kept seeking out.

Cooking Lager said...

Does this thing ever come up north? I'm allergic to London, see.

Tyson said...

Night off? Wimp. You working Sat?

Velky Al said...

Really looking forward to your thoughts on the London Dark Lager! I have another growler in the fridge waiting for the weekend, so an insanely easy beer to drink for a 5.8%er

RedNev said...

CL: there is the National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester, of which TM is deputy organiser.

Rob Nicholson said...

@Cookie: don't count your chickens on it moving any time soon

Rob Nicholson said...

@Rednev: Manchester for next two years and then Derby

Tyson said...

Yes, Derby the centre of Britain. Good thinking, Camra.

Erlangernick said...

The pong must be pretty awful to drive *you* to cold, gassed-up, filtered lout!

And CL, the fall SIBA fest provides another opportunity to observe Tanders in his native organisierial cask-environ. Spectacular ale too.