Well it is all getting there. Setting up a big beer festival like Manchester Beer and Cider Festival - see links in previous post - is a marathon rather than a sprint. When you expect over 12,000 people, there is a huge logistical operation. In fact serving the customers is the relatively straightforward bit. Getting a few thousand pieces of kit to click together really isn't straightforward at all.
There is always something new too, just to throw you a bit. This year we have to contend with, for example, the new laws on allergen advice. Given that no-one is an actual expert on the 14 different categories, we have to do our best to get it right. And we will, but it is just one more thing sent to try us. Today is (nearly) final set up and then we have to tidy away all the boxes, spares and other gubbins we don't need or need later. Bar Managers will make final adjustments, stalls will stock up, coolers will be checked and a million other things. I'll be doing the Health and Safety check later today and again tomorrow to finally ensure we are safe to go.
The good fun starts tomorrow with the trade session which to me is the best of all simply because it is a chance to meet up with old friends from the trade and have a natter and a pint.
I'll hopefully keep you all informed. I really do recommend it and it will be great fun.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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