The CAMRA Festival Cask-Keg Craft Quandary

Subtitle – A Real Problem (Answer: No, that was just a pun which I felt was too sloppy for the title but I don’t like waste, as trite as it is).

 

So the month of January 2019 saw me visit the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival and, as very usual, the Bent & Bongs Beer Bash

So I still hold that Bent & Bongs is not really a CAMRA festival.  It started with the local Round Table(s), moved on to Bent & Bongs Charitable Trust and whereas it has always had help in every aspect from local CAMRA branches (Wigan, mainly), it doesn’t really push itself as a CAMRA do.

Now Bent & Bongs has always had 3 stalls; right back from my attending at the much missed Formby Hall, which were casks ales, ciders & perries and foreign beers (sometimes with bottles).  2019 saw the introduction of “Craft Corner” where by 10 beers were presented by Keg (and the were keg, not CAMRA “real ale approved” KeyKeg).

Still, having visited the Manchester version from when it was the “Winter Ales” version and then when it moved to the velodrome and almost killed people with the amount of walking required, the set up has been fairly similar, up until the move to GMex (or Manchester Central if you must).

During this rather move the beer scene has evolved (or in-vovled) and so CAMRA, wishing to not miss a trick developed a way of getting Keg (any keg style) into their festival but for sake of brevity (set-up), this year, with the exception of the brewery bars and Irish Bar, the keg were kept in the “Keg & KeyKeg Bar” – note the distinction even here, they should really add Dolium just for the fuck of it too.

Anyway, it was only on the final day of Bent & Bongs I noted the clear distinction between Cask and Craft.

Not anyone’s fault, the terms aren’t mutually exclusive.  Same with real ale, keg, keykeg, or whatever material the cask is made out of.

Or for that matter is the cask it pump or gravity.

But you can only field the “what’s the difference between cask and craft?” question so many times, trying not to notice the glazed look in the eyes of the asker, not from beer but from your own overly long, if technically correct answer, before you just say…

Craft (beer), in the UK, it’s a marketing term.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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Slayer – The End of Gigs

So the 9th of November 2018 marked the final time I expect to see Slayer live.

I’ve seen Slayer a good deal of times, though the last time they toured (2015) they played the Manchester Apollo and a baulked at paying £50+ to see them, despite the venue being me favourite place for live music.

Give it exactly 3 years and stick them in the larger venue and them retiring (hmm, I’m not convinced) and the £50+ is something I’ll happily part with.

The last time I saw Slayer live was at Sonisphere in 2014.  It also remains the last music festival I attended.  Seeing Slayer without Jeff Hanneman, who died in 2013, caused tears for me and my brother, not something you’d associated with Slayer but emotion got the better of us.  The departure of drummer Dave Lombardo more or less sealed me not wishing to see them again for, as much as I respect Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph, without the original guitarist and drummer you are only getting 50% Slayer.

Plus, thanks to neck surgery, it is still very not seeing frontman Tom Araya head-banging like a madman.

Having watched a 7-song set by Anthrax and left feeling a bit empty that they weren’t the main support and that their set wasn’t longer I went to look at the merchandise.  Cue myself and my mates sounding like old-time curmudgeons as we berated not only the stuff for sale but also the price.

Some years ago I saw, at the Manchester Apollo, “Priest Fest” – Judas Priest supported by Megadeth and Testament.

It was an excellent concert but for all the fine songs and performances on display the one thing that stuck in my head was the 60-minute countdown timer I could see during Megadeth’s set.

Flick back to 2018 Slayer and they just blasted out songs, as usual, little crowd interaction, no encore just straight played through for nearly 90 minutes and then pissed off stage.

It was again an excellent show but it just seemed a bit deflating.  Too structured, too professional.

That is gigs in general these days, money really is the bottom line these days now the market has fallen out of record sales and it shows in a lot of the more recent gigs I’ve been too.

Plus £5.20 for Fosters…fuck off.

I doubt they’ll be a year from now on that I don’t even watch live music but either I am officially getting old or it really is just too polished these days.

Maybe I should stick to pub cover bands.

 

Thanks for reading.

Pub Guilt

I was going to start this off with a lyric that Ian MacKaye wrote when he was in Minor Threat, but that would detract from the focus of this piece.

One of my mates commented that I can now disguise any heavy drinking I do as “part of my hobby.”

A quick flick through the vast ways I can keep track about what I drink (this blog, Twitter, Untapped, photos, good old-fashioned memory) highlights that over recent months I’ve imbibed a lot of beer, but seldom was it in pubs.

I drink bottles at home, bought from a vast array of local beer shops, many of whichthemselves now serve alcohol in the increasingly micropub (or microbar) vane via keg and/or cask.

I’ve been to a hell of a lot of beer festivals and even the breweries themselves and/or associated brew taps.

I’ve been to beer tastings and meet the brewer events, which though held in pubs seldom see me venture into the reaches on the actual pub and purchase anything from the bar.

In fact as I type this (while not drinking) I do think; I could buy myself a laptop or tablet and quite easily stroll down to my local and compose this there.

But that in itself it quite an insular thing – why would I go out to a social environment and then put my face into a big electronic screen for the entire time I was there?

What there is, is a feeling, the pub was and still very much is about a community spirit and about comfort.

I’ve been to beer festivals and some just feel too regimented- you are there to drink, interaction with anyone outside your social circle is minimal.

Many modern bars that just feel empty.  Hollow carcasses where people wish to been seen to be drinking rather than getting any actual pleasure from the experience, but I suppose if you are surround by plywood, IKEA-lite furnishings or the very strange industrial-chic stylings, what is there to enjoy?

Beer can only cover-up so many things.

Some of the newer beer festivals also fall into this trapping and where they may be blessed with having lovely surroundings or interesting opportunities to meet brewers or go to lectures they still just come across as a place to be seen at; something that was read about in some trendy publication and needs to be ticked off some frivolous bucket list.

In writing this I open myself up to my own hypocrisy.  I am an anti-social, social drinker.

I go to places on my own and confide in the warm, glowing, warming glow of my phone until inebriated enough to possibly grumble at someone sat near me, or maybe ask a few questions of the bar staff.

I drink less in pubs since I started “my hobby” that I did before – but a pub is like riding a bike, in which that provided the community is still there, you aren’t ever quite forgotten.

There is one pub in my locale which is possibly the worst when it comes to beer selection.  They had casks for a year and then ripped them out to replace them with more generic keg lagers.  But I can go in and even though my palate might not be satisfied, my soul (and my wallet) and more than comforted.

The theme to Cheers would be appropriate now, but no one knows my name.

The problem is people are treating beer and the social experience it brings as a commodity of lifestyle.  The community feeling is ebbing away, save only for Christmas or those tedious weeks when England play football in some corrupt tournament people don’t seem to go out much.

People drink less, pubs keep on closing, old communities fracture and splinter and  the uptopian vision of amalgamation of new cultures grind is replaced by them wearily jarring against each other.

Of course, these is just the witterings of a sober, pessemistic man – tomorrow I could go out have a few beers and feel the world of the pub is safe; that drinking habits are evolving and they will merely take a while before settling down into the old regime and away from this cliquey glad-handing charade.

This isn’t solely the fault of customer, the pubs have to meet half-way, but that is a different discussion.

 

 

 

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this final thought…

 

pubkill

Manchester Beer Festival 2015

A review of the 2nd Manchester Beer and Cider Festival to be held at the Velodrome on the Emptyhad Campus between the 21st and 24th of January 2015.

Previous reviews of the 2014 event and the problems with the 2014 event can be found at those links.

This year I only went as a punter, not for any other reason than time and I only went as a punter on the quieter Wednesday opening day.

The biggest change this year was that the whole concourse surrounding the track was available.  This had enable about half the bars to be placed on this level (the same level as the toilets and the enterance) and allow more room downstairs for people.

So in one fell swoop they solved a great many problems that were associated with the first festival.  Plenty of seats in centre of the track, less of a walk to the toilet and then to get beer, less hurry in fact.

In doing this you often felt that you might lose a sense of atmosphere, that by halving the bars in the centre, you have the crowd size.

But looking at the photos on the event Twitter feed you can see that there is a fair old crowd still in the centre.  Plus the walk around the concourse means you don’t have to be stuck at the sometimes upcomfortable temperatures in the centre of the track needed to appease those healthy heathens cycling around the facility.

WP_20150125_001

Yep, they’ve started doing stemmed glasses.

CAMRA have clearly taken pointers from a lot of the smaller independent festivals and their popularity, not just in glassware but in general attitude.

It is hard to say that they’ve become more professional because, as stated in previous reviews (1) they are all volunteers and (2) they generally host things to a high standard most of the time.

This year there was an extra sheen to the festival, no small thanks in part to a very professionally run media aspect giving constant updates and reminders (see above twitter feed and the website).

The beer choice itself also seemed to have upped its game too, a greater emphasis rightly so put on the local brewers, which I sometimes feel is lost at other beer festivals, regardless of their location, but specifically Indy Man don’t often trumpet Manchester brewers often enough at their shindig, something that CAMRA do do and do well (Da Doo Ron Ron).

It seems that the 2014 festival was an abberation to that extent, which can’t not be unexpected (hmm, triple negative), the only thing to let this festival down (like those before it) was the food; acceptable stodge – but quantity over quality and choice.

So it is again thanks to all the volunteers, staff and organisers that made this possible.

The Beers

Stupidly I didn’t take a pen along, so this is all done be recall and having said that there now follows a list of beers and brewers that I really did enjoy at the 2015 festival with limited notes but a hearty recommendation for all:

Allgates – Macadamia, Coconut and Lime Porter (4.6% – refreshingly totally tropical)

Alphabet Brew Co – Crate Digger (8.3%) and Space Invader (6.0% – a very nice flavoursome saison)

Blackedge – Motley Brew (4.0%)

Black Jack Beers – Betting Cap (5.3%), Vanilla Stout (5.2%) and Beginners Cranberry (5.0%)

Five-Oh Brew Co – Sorachi Wicked (6.0%, yes another small cask from them)

Quantum – Imperial Buckwheat Stout (8.5%)

Silver Street Brewery – Porter (5.0%)

Squawk – Beanbrothers Coffee Stout (6.5%) and Ad Hop Liquorice Porter (6.5% and boy is there liquorice)

Stockport Brewing Company – Black Buck (5.8%)

Thirst Class Ale – Stocky Oatmeal Stout (5.5%)

Tweed – Black Shire Stout (4.5%)

Watt’s Brewing – Raspberry & Rosehop Pale Ale (4.6% – lovely and fruity)

Reading through the guide I realise just how many more I didn’t try…should have done another session, well live, drink and learn.

Till next year.

Brew-denell – 3rd Annual Beer Festival 2015 – Review

Subtitled “if students did beer festivals…”

I hope in reviewing this that I don’t come across as patronising, that is not the intent at all, I have a very good time, there were just a few niggles for me…

This event took place (or rather is still taking place) between the 9th to the 11 of January 2015.

It took place at the Brudenell Social Club in the Burley Park area of Leeds, which is a 4 minute train ride out of Leeds, one stop before Headingly.

It is quite the student area by the look of it, grid layout of terraced housing left over from an industrial age, some with full door-size security gates over the front doors.  Much like Hamsterdam.

Tickets were £4 per day, bought in advance, £5 on the door and, I think £7/8 for the whole weekend, Sunday being free.

Entry included either a regular pint glass or a stemmed one, or an extra quid got you a half or pint tankard.

WP_20150110_002You also got a rather nice booklet.

Beers were sold in halves or pints, priced more or less to alcohol volume, ranging from about £2.50 to £5 a half, there was an even split between keg and cask, there were also about 5 ciders and a big range of bottles too.

The average age of the punters couldn’t have been much above 23.

Food was pizza or burgers by The Pizza Bus (@eatourpizza)

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£5-£6, the pizzas were very good, the burgers were also good, if the patties were a little on the small side.  If you can read the above list, most of the ingredients were marinated/contained beers, which I though was quite a good gimmick.

Queuing up outside to get in I noted a list of bands set to perform; Sick Of It All, Julian Cope, Gruff Rhys, Turin Brakes – what the hell kind of venue was this, it just looked like a regular club from the outside?

On the bar they had Estrella Damn (£2.90 a pint), a few other high-end keg lagers, mixed with the regular UK ones.  Cask lines with Kirkstall Brewery beers on, a special keg line for, at the time Left Hand Brewing’s Black Jack Porter (6.8% and I think about £4.50 a pint).  What the hell kind of venue was this?

The main room where the beers were was a good size, but quite small when all the beer equipment was installed, the food was outside, then there was another room with an additional large bar area and then a games room, which itself was two good sized rooms, one containing about 4 pool tables and what looked like a snooker table; which were moved for the bands (not the ones above) to play.

The venue was excellent.  If you want to go to uni, I am now recommending Leeds based on this venue alone, let alone the city centre drinking holes.

The even have a very good hand drier…

WP_20150110_005I’m not going to review the all beers on here, well just a special one, but what I would like to do is thank, part of Manchester’s Brewery Mile, Track Brewing Co. for making me aware of this festival, due to the crowds I was unable to have their Ozark but having had if before, if you can find it, I recommend it.

So I end on as many positives as I can, I’ll state my two niggles…

1) Staffing – there just weren’t enough.  One guy on the door was doing a sterling job for about 8 hours before it looked like he got a break.  The bar itself wasn’t exactly teeming with beer pourers either.  Those that were there were displaying a mainly excellent effort of getting through the queues, but just a couple more people at each service point (even one more) would have made things go a lot quicker and in the end get more people spending more money on more beer.

2) Servings – now I’m not expecting to get 2/3rds of a pint when I ask for a half, but what I don’t expect to get is short-served most of the time.  The oddest moment happened when one of my drinks went slightly over the half-line and rather than just giving me the beer, the additional amount was….POURED AWAY…..what madness is that?

Having said that, the staff were all bob on with their service; friendly and as quick as could be expected.

The large choice of beers was clearly marked on the boards or on giant posters and to make things easier for all, were given numbers like a Chinese menu, even if the numbers themselves weren’t in any order behind the bar.

My special beer of the day, and I did have quite a few very good ones but this stood out, was The Sun Before The Darkness, a 10% Belgian style strong ale by The Yeastie Boys of New Zealand.  The brewery and beers are new to me and this was a very dangerously drinkable beer, maybe too honey-sweet for some, but a lovely complex tasting brew with a very pleasant aroma and no taste of the high ABV at all.

I think I’ve all ready decided that a few days at this place next year might be in order.

So thanks to all the organisers and volunteers – a most excellent time.

To end, this sign did was funny given the circumstances

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Bent & Bongs Beer Bash 2014

This event, the 25th hosting of it took place between January 30th and February 1st 2014.

Bent – short for Chowbent is the nickname of Atherton.

Bongs – is the nickname of Tyldesley, no I don’t know the etymology of it either – anyone?

Entry is £5-£7 depending on the day (discount for CAMRA members and if you arrive after a certain time).

You get your glass and programme as part of the entry fee, so no glass refunds for those that are used to them.

Tokens are in papers booklets of £10 and the major quirk of this festival is having to rip off the amount you need, yep no help with marker pens here.  So what you end you with is second guessing yourself doing that self-deluding drunken maths where you think “if I take £1 and the 10p of this sheet I can take to 10p tokens off another and then I’ll have £X and X pennies left for the next drink.”

What you end up doing is dropping loads of paper ‘cash’ on the floor like confetti and generally not realising as you stagger away from the bar.

The men’s toilets also queue, but it goes down quick and you get some of the best banter in there because of it.

The coat room is through into the lady’s toilet area – yes, this was the first year I put my coat in (and umbrella) and I was taken aback – its run by St. John’s Ambulance who merely ask for a donation.

The festival raises money for local charities and has raised somewhere in the region of £400,000 in the 25 years its been going.

I’ve been going to this festival a fair few years now.  Usually on the Friday, with opening times of 5-11pm and you’d think it was 9.30pm when really it was 6.30pm and you realised just how hammered you were.

It now opens at 4pm, I think mainly because Fridays prior to this (this only being the 2nd year of 4pm opening) were rammed – one in, one out, if you weren’t in the queue by 5pm you probably wouldn’t get in till everyone else was hammered at 6.30pm, so popular was it.

Now, whereas I will queue with about 45 minutes till opening, all my cohorts can turn up at 4pm on the dot and be in within 10 minutes and the hall remains a breathable and fairly fresh place – because sometimes it was almost a heaving primordial soup of drunkards – the best kind.

Drinks are served by the half or pint and the food is how I judge all other festival food.

You’ve got Bury Black Pudding, Roast Beef Barms, Cheese & Pickle Barms (for veggies apparently), a wide variety of sausages and the piece de resistance…HOT POT.

Hot pot, with peas, red cabbage and suet crust – again you could tell how busy the festival used to get when the crust used to sell out.

Great, proper stodge, home-made and nothing more than £4.50 currently.

It was this event that taught me the vital need to eat something every 4-5 drinks if I wanted to last – and I do, long enough to go on to the Pendle Witch (Moorhouse’s) or the Jolly Nailor (Allgates Brewery), which always have beer festivals running alongside (to mop up the pre/post-drinkers or the unlucky souls) and be equally busy and where I always end up, if I’m not ‘tired’.

You always get good live music on too from a variety of acts over the 3 nights (and 1 afternoon session).

On to the beer – and this year’s was an absolute stormer, especially for the dark beers, so in saying that, I can’t even pick a favourite this time. I also forgot a pen, but improvised with other stranger’s pens and some lipstick.

Sadly I didn’t get hold of anything that 4Ts Brewery had to offer, so hopefully next time.

I ended the night on a Broadoak Moonshine Cider (7.5%) – my mates swear by it, they also swear a lot more when on it. If you like rather sweet, easy drink, bastard strength cider than I can recommend this.

The festival also carries quite a large range of foreign beers (bottle and keg) from around the world, sadly I didn’t get to go for a second session otherwise I would have tried some of these – I’ve got my eye on you Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout.

Anyway, the beers. In alphabetical order we have…

The aforementioned Allgates Brewery who provided their new 3.9% Crombouke Day-Eye TnT, which was a complete bugger to order but was a great, light pale ale; which was almost as enjoyable as their 4.2% Blue Sky Tea another light pale with the aroma and subtle flavourings of tea.

Ascot Ales were one of the brewers of one of the numerous great dark ales with their 4.5% Penguin Porter. Good malty flavours with the lovely coffee taste I want to have in my dark alcoholic beverages, something I’d happily have by a fire on a cold day – or even a badly-needs-bleeding radiator on a wet Friday night.

Binghams Brewery provided the truthfully named Space Hoppy (5%), a vanilla IPA that worked with the light vanilla taste round off the hops nicely, deceptively strong.

Next were some Southerners in the form of East London Brewing, of which I sampled to of their beers; the Jamboree a lovely golden ale, something that revives the memories that summer might come soon, but not a session ale at 4.8%, but very drinkable. The other was the 5.2% East India Spice a winter ale with a wonderful aroma which if it tasted like it smelt could have gone wrong (too many spices) but happily the actual spicy taste was no overpowering at all, I liked it, though I suspect some might not.

Ludlow Brewing Company were the next to tickle my taste buds with their dark offering with a Black Knight, more coffee and roasted tastes and smells from this 4.5% stout which was that good I’m willing to forgive them using the word Artisan on their website.

Next up are Naylor’s Brewery, continuing a fine dark drinks drinking experience with their 4.1% Porticus Stout, which I insisted on calling Portcullis (a ‘later that night’ drink). A lovely, smooth and velvety stout. I think I may have got almost overcome by all this wonder dark booze.

The amusingly named The Devils Deadly Weapon at a satanic 6.66% and an even more evilly labelled bespoke beer from North Star Brewery was a bit like a red-ale/barley wine hybrid to me and again something good enough to make me forgive the use of one of the horrible marketing descriptors.

Penpont Brewery brought along their quite lovely winter dark brew that was Silent Night. You new it was strong, it was at 7.2%, but it reached the cockles with a welcome warmth and an ensuing beer flushed face will follow.

Red Willow Brewery brought along their 6.5% Soulless which is what I would expect from a brewery who have yet to make a beer I didn’t like. Black IPA with a citrus twang.

A collaboration next from Great Heck Brewery and Steel City Brewing in the form of another wintry, festive brew called Yule Twig (5.2%). Brown ale with hops and Xmas pudding – something to enjoy sat next to a blazing Sheffield steel furnace (well, not too close).

Thwaites. What the fuck is going on with Thwaites? While they decide what the fuck they are doing, so long as they keep producing great beers like the 6.5% Old Dan (a good fruity old-ale like brew) and Smoke Stack a very smoky 5.8% dark beer that had good body a flavour even if the smoke was a bit too much like bacon they should at least maintain some sort of drinking base (if not a work force).

TrueFitt Brewing had brought along their Ironopolis Stout (4.7%) which all I can say was I enjoyed so much when I previously had it, about a year ago, that I went and had it again despite all the other choice.

Sarah Hughes Brewery. I will state now that the name Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild is one of my beery muses. The pinnacle of what I call ‘dangerously drinkable’ (6%). Along with queuing & eating the other ritual I have for this festival is this drink. I had never seen it anywhere else, yet it is always here. I wait 365 for this thing. I’m like an out of shape, shorter version of Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi in Point Break, but I won’t be waiting 10 years for this wonderful beer storm.

Yes I love it. But I will say that all the other drinks more than held their own against it, so I was a very happy (and massively pissed) boy.

So thanks again to all the organisers and volunteers (even if they didn’t respond to my requests to offer a hand).

Same time next year for more queues, beers and Hot Pot.

Manchester Beer Festival 2014 – Part 2 – The Pathologist’s Report

This was going to be part 2 of the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival, but from the point of view of a volunteer.

However, I’ll get around to that, I figured in the meantime I’d weigh in (late as ever) with a shocking 2nd blog post in as many days, about the pros and cons of the place and the general reaction and where the future might hold. All in the glory of rhetorical questions and offering no solutions, except maybe buy more beer.

*No pictures, just prose.*

The Pros – which may have ended up turning into negatives.

1. The location of the Velodrome was a fantastic and original setting, which may well have drawn the merely curious out to see it, leading to the large numbers of people in attendance.

2. Transport links were good – well if you can ever use Metrolink and good transport in the same sentence. I just felt like I’d wasted £3 every time I’d got on.

3. 300+ beers and ciders – speaks for itself.

The Cons – which will effect different people to different extents.

1. The walk – but can’t do much about the building.

2. The seating – which is one for the future.

3. The beer running out – the worst one of the lot.

4. The sometimes wanton unprofessionalism of whoever was in charge of the @mancbeerfest twitter feed…

So whoever was responsible for this tweet:

And this one…

Which the feed appears to now suggest we can lay at the fingers of one of these people…

Are CAMRA a professional outfit?

No they are a bunch of volunteers (in the vast majority of cases) but these tweets belie what I think was generally at fault with the festival.

The Sheridan Suite had bus links, which were subsidised to £1 each way to get there and were an equivalent walk to the venue that the tram is to the National Cycling Centre for this year’s festival.

There were 4,000+ people who attended on the Friday alone.

The Saturday that I worked seemed as absolute bedlam as I imagined Friday’s session was.

Now I’ve no idea if this year’s was advertised more heavily than any other year.

Or if the venue is really that big of a drawn.

Or if the unfortunate timing of a Citeh FA cup game versus Watford compounded the beer running out.

Or if in the past year beer has become THAT more popular.

Maybe there is wisdom in the paraphrased adage “if you book it, they will come.”

Festival Saturdays are notoriously beer light times. But I still hold no truck with fucktards whining about “working” – what so you work harder than say the 8000 others who attended the other days, or who volunteered?

Jog on, you self-important bollock-head.

Problem is, if you move to a new venue, you are probably going to get fewer people turning up.

But of course it does depend on the venue. I mean, where were these 10,000 people in 2013 or 2012 and years before when it was the Winter Ales festival.

I wouldn’t discount the weather too – most times of a Winter Ales Festival its been snowing, this mild climate at the moment (not due to climate change of course, no need to look for other energy sources, lets just keep burning dinosaur matter till it runs out and we can then kill each other over every rain drop) may have led to the heavier foot-fall.

A benefit of the festival running out of beer was everyone skulking off elsewhere – to give much-needed business to local pubs and bars. I went over to the Microbar mini festival they had on and got talking to a proper City fan (one who has always gone to the matches. Not someone who ‘refound’ the team, or changed Manchester colours, or one of those 4 irksome American girls in their clawing sky-blue and white scarves I had the misfortune to serve on Saturday).

This very nice and very well-informed chap who spoke a massive amount of common sense about beer, brewing and pubs was trying to figure out why the (very excellent) Crown & Kettle was busy and was very happy to learn that this may have been the reason why getting his pie dinner and a pint was delayed, and offset by about 500 yards.

But where does this leave the festival in 2015 and beyond?

Have those people who just turned up to see the venue going to return a second time?

Are those not liking the seating/walking/stairs going to bother too?

More importantly are those who had to leave 3-4 hours earlier that the advertised 7pm finish and then told all their mates ever going to return?

Will Team GB even hire out the venue again?

Is CAMRA really putting profit before actual beer promotion?

Do you get in more beer if the foot-fall is possibly going to be lighter because of bad press?

I’m sure the higher up bods in CAMRA are debating this right now.

And if they aren’t – then they are fucked.