One thing about beer festivals is that once it is all set up, it tends to flow fairly smoothly. Not so in the period beforehand . It has been a very intense week with problems (they used to call them opportunities when I was at work) galore. I have been directly involved with various Health and Safety issues, design issues and even, reluctantly, pricing. Others on the Working Party that oversees the National Winter Ales Festival are in the same boat. It is quite stressful. No matter how carefully you plan there is always these two fellows, Mr Wibni and Mr Osintot making their presence felt in no uncertain manner. Who are they then? Mr Wibni (Wouldn't it be nice if...) and more commonly, Mr Osintot (Oh shit I never thought of that). I think it fair to say that the nearer you get to the beer festival, the more focused you become, with all the little things you blanked out, or put off, pouring out like water from a burst pipe. The enormity of it all and the sheer level of detail is quite daunting and the margin for error almost nil.
We start set up on Friday this week believe it or not. I can safely predict that it will be chaos at first until we get ourselves organised, but the time the paying customer gets there next Wednesday, it will hopefully all feel like a calm, ordered, well oiled (that's quite possible) machine, but underneath, those of us that are responsible for the success or failure of the whole thing, are, like ducks in a pond, paddling frantically to keep afloat.
But you know what? We will do it and we will make it a great success. Come along and see for yourself.
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.
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.
I do not currently accept adverts on this site, but if you feel so inclined, make me an offer. If you wish me to wear your brewery stuff, great. XXL please
The contents of this blog represent the personal views of the author only. They do not represent CAMRA policy in any way whatsoever.
The contents of this site and individual articles may not be reproduced in whole without the express permission of the author and will require an appropriate credit. Extracts may be reproduced with a credit to the author.