Friday, 4 January 2013

My January

I've enjoyed reading various posts about dry Januarys, but while I'll be cutting down a little due to mince pie excess, January means one thing to me above all - The National Winter Ales Festival. Next week I'll go over my huge amount of paperwork and ensure all my stuff is up to date for my main role, that of Health and Safety Officer.  I say main role, but that is moot, as my "other" responsibility is as Deputy Organiser, which of course gives me a sharp overview of the huge amount of work put in by a lot of very dedicated people.

It is quite amazing to look at the beer list and realise that there is a remarkably long list of beers that choose themselves, either because they are competition entries (we host the Champion Winter Beer of Britain, plus Regional Heats for next year.)  There are sponsor's beers too - yes we have them otherwise the cost of entry would be prohibitive - and we have a feature this year involving Project Venus.  When you take that lot out, the "free" list is a lot shorter than you'd imagine.  The Beer Orderer has a remarkably difficult juggling job to do.  It is a huge credit to him that despite the difficulties, we will have a fantastic choice for customers.

Meantime others have been working on foreign beer lists, cider lists, pricing, bar kit, cooling plans, electrical plans, liaison with Police, staffing,  beer judging, security, logistics and a thousand other mind boggling things. In addition to door and foyer arrangements (another little sideline of mine) and Health and Safety, I'll have to get my head round a beer tasting I'll be giving to corporate customers.  I haven't done one for a couple of years and while fun, they are quite a responsibility as they need a fair bit of planning.

Sometimes we wonder why we do it, but I know it will all come together and when the punters start to flood in, it will all be worthwhile.

Do come and join us and see how it has all worked out. You really will be most welcome.

National Winter Ales Festival, 23rd-26th January 2013, Sheridan Suite, Manchester, M40 8RR.  Over 300 Real Ales, Ciders and Foreign Beers from around the world.


Cooking Lager said...

As CAMRA allegedly supports responsible drinking, why is CAMRA not supporting Dry January?

It supports other measures of Alcohol Concern like prohibition for the poor.

How can CAMRA justify drink related activity in January?

I would suggest at the very least an Alcohol Concern stand, information on safe drinking levels.

I mean you are not even doing 1/4 pints. 1/3 is the smallest measure. Current science suggest any more than 1/4 and you are killing yourself.

Oh and I had to laugh when I saw customers of an off licence get a better deal on entry than beard club members!

Pop over, enjoy yourself. I'll say hello if I can be bothered leaving the house and going.

Neville Grundy said...

CL: responsible drinking logically involves drinking. Dry January involves not drinking. Simple really.

Cooking Lager said...

Responsible drinking is a 1/4 of a pint of ale a day and lots of herbal tea, Nev, not gallons of ale.

It's the hypocrisy, Nev, that winds me up. In bed with Alcohol Concern one minute, cheating on them behind their back with their sister the next.

py0 said...

Will Brewdog be there? I'm only coming if Brewdog are there.

Neville Grundy said...

The phrase "responsible drinking" is meaningless anyway. If I choose to have 14 pints, I am responsible for that choice, no one else. Responsible means answerable, and every drinker is answerable for his or her drinking choices.

Another stupid phrase is "alcohol abuse". You cannot abuse alcohol, only misuse it.

Cooking Lager said...

But "CAMRA is committed to promoting responsible drinking", it's a direct quote off da website.

Are you accusing the most successful consumer organisation in europe of using meaningless aphorisms?

If there is an Alcohol Concern stand, a herbal tea stand and a get Tands autograph (No intimate areas) stand then I might be able to accept this dingaling.

rabidbarfly said...

Alcohol Concern can kiss my arse. Let's get pissed.

Neville Grundy said...

"Are you accusing the most successful consumer organisation in Europe of using meaningless aphorisms?"


Cooking Lager said...

That's just CAMRA bashing, Nev.

I've looked at the website and I see the beer list. I see no indication of soft drinks. What teas are available?

Tandleman said...

Soft drinks and tea will be offered by the venue.

Neville Grundy said...

CL: as a member, I regard CAMRA's approach to minimum pricing and the like as self-serving and unprincipled.

Anonymous said...

Pubs would lose alot of trade if everyone went dry for a month, January is hard enough already. Some sort of support your local in Jan would be good.

Rob Nicholson said...

Fortunately for our local businesses, people don't appear to be listening. Wharf in Macclesfield packed at 6pm. Chilli banana (Thai) packed later.

Lance Boyle said...

I drank responsibly today.
I was responsible for a gallon of ale and a mosey along the top shelf.
I'm currently being responsible for not wasting what's left of the wife's bottle of Marsanne.
I have done my deed for the day.

Dubbel said...

That's a cracking logo. Well done whoever designed that.

Anonymous said...

90% session boring beers. With the exception of about 3 or 4 brewers, it's all boring.

Enjoy your session beer and pork pie!

Anonymous said...

well you obviously dont know your beers mate, theres some crackers there, and definately more than 4 good brewers!

regards ozzy