The first thing that hits you as you come down the escalator from the hidden from the public staffing area, is the sheer size of the place. When it just has the staff scurrying about, it really is huge. CAMRA is getting sorted Health and Safety wise. We all wear hi viz jackets until we open. On BSF this year we have relocated. I find this disorienting and spend the whole day getting lost.
I always drink too much on the first day. I know why. It is because you meet so many old friends and of course, you have a drink with them. It isn't too bad though. Not pissed, but as our Yankee chums might say, buzzed!
I meet loads of people and watch the Champion Beer announcements, having enjoyed the opening speech by a Liberal Democrat MP, whose name nobody catches. I am delighted that Lees Bitter wins a silver medal. Not bad. I celebrate with Lees Head Brewer Giles Dennis who is pleased and disappointed in equal measure. All brewers rate their beer highly I reckon.
Among those I meet are old CAMRA and non CAMRA chums and of course bloggers. I'll stick to blog names. The Beer Nut is there and is a delight, Stonch too, all effervescent and a vision in purple. YCC sport two of their number and the thoughtful Maeib is there too. Tom Fryer, an old mate drops by also. Tom runs the Oxford Bottled Beer Database. Zak Avery who runs a splendid beer shop in Leeds and writes on beer dropped by too.
I'll do a bit more tomorrow, but now I need to get washed and take my aching feet back there. Was it busy? Yes, but more so in the trade session. That's good I think.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
These are the life blood of any blog. Please feel free to comment. I do not practice censorship if you stick to the point, but personal insults are frowned upon and may result in deletion. Anonymous entries may have the piss taken out of them or be deleted.
Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
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