Great British Beer Festival 2009: Drinking for a Good Cause

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I enjoyed last year’s half-day visit to London for the Campaign for Real Ale’s Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court Exhibition Center so much, that I stayed for two days this year.
Earls Court Exhibition Center

Again, I used Twitter to keep an online diary – here are my tweets in chronological order (plus a list of the beers I sampled).


5:42 a.m.: Thanks, AOL Radio, for waking me up with Rick James!

Ryanair-Bus6:44 a.m.: Musste den Flughafenbus auf der Strasse stoppen, da er statt 6.45 (siehe Anzeigetafel rechts) schon um 6.30 Uhr losfuhr.

8:34 a.m.: Lustig: Das Flugzeug ist laut Ansage noch nicht mal gelandet, trotzdem stehen die Leute am Gate schon fröhlich in der Schlange.

8:50 a.m.: LBC – STN. Outta here.

12:51 p.m.: Got my fix of spicy jerk chicken with rice & peas in Brixton, on my way to Earl’s Court now – moving from Caribbean cuisine to British beer.
Healthy Eaters (Southall)

2:04 p.m.: Beer tasting for a good cause: Just arrived at the Campaign for Real Ales‘ Great British Beer Festival.

3:09 p.m.: 7th beer tasting: Finally found Dark Star’s Espresso which woke me up at GBBF 2008. Further faves: Marble’s & Little Valley’s Ginger.

3:53 p.m.: European Beer Consumers Union’s Tom Perera told me that his organization doesn’t have a German affiliate. Any volunteers? 😉

4:11 p.m.: Best beer names at GBBF: „Village Idiot“ & „Granny Wouldn’t Like It“ (and my 2008 faves „Bonkers Conkers“ & „Old Spreckled Hen“).

4:29 p.m.: I don’t like wheat beer & fruit flavours. But the raspberry wheats by Iceni & Milestone are nice – neither too wheaty nor too sweet.

4:42 p.m.: The cue for the Champion Beer of Britain is too long (Rudgate’s Ruby Mild). Having Bumble Beer instead (2nd in the „Specialty“ category).

4:56 p.m.: Although I like coriander, the winner in the „Specialty Beers“ dept. doesn’t do too much for me (Nethergate’s „Umbel Magna“).

5:08 p.m.: After my 16th tasting (Nethergate’s decent „Mary’s Ruby Mild“) I’ll call it a day. Next stop: dinner & movie in Southall.
Great British Beer Festival 2009

5:33 p.m.: A wannabee-helpful Londoner at Earl’s Court told me that I won’t get to Paddington on the District Line. Luckily, I didn’t listen to him …

5:41 p.m.: Come to think of it: Even if U only sample 1/3 pints (which I didn’t), 16 different beers can be tiring. Hope I’ll survive tonight’s flick!

7:00 p.m.: I always enjoy the Hindi ’subtitles‘ at Southall Station.
Southall Station

7:50 p.m.: I only chose Southall’s Mehfil hotel for its combination of price & location. It turns out to be the best 3-star London-area hotel ever.

Himalaya Palace8:30 p.m.: The slightly disorganized people who run Southall’s Himalaya Palace are still advertising the movie „Luck“. But they don’t show it because, supposedly, nobody else but me wanted to watch it.

Great British Beer Festival 2009

1:18 p.m.: PR text for Arrogant Bastard Ale: „It’s quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality & depth.“

1:22 p.m.: Round 2 at the Great British Beer Festival. Time to sample the second half of the 450+ beers on sale at Earls Court.

2:19 p.m.: As a CAMRA member, I shouldn’t like keg beer. But Schlenkerla’s Rauchbier Urbock rocks! Similar to 2008.

2:33 p.m.: If you’re at GBBF: Tom Waine’s „Fuzzy Logic: Great Ideas Dreamt up in the Pub“ is on sale at the CAMRA bookshop. It’s hilarious!

2:45 p.m.: Beatles, Blues & Blue Violin are playing the #GBBF right now. Cute song title: „I Feel so Good, I’m Gonna Break Somebody’s Heart Tonight“.

2:51 p.m.: I like bitter orange chocolate, but Amber’s Chocolate Orange Stout (Bronze Champion in the „Specialty“ category) doesn’t work for me.

3:38 p.m.: @gbbf You asked for feedback about #GBBF: I got the impression that many beers are sold out much earlier at GBBF 2009 than they were in 2008.

3:45 p.m.: „Headcracker“ is an appropriate name for Woodforde’s light, fresh barley wine. Tastes harmless but has 7% alcohol!

4:13 p.m.: Still at the East Coast (P6). Iceni’s Elvedon Forest Gold, Humpty Dumpty’s Little Sharpie and Fat Cat’s Honey Cat are nice, too.

Crusty Pie Co.4:27 p.m.: Try the vegetarian potato, leek & gourgette pie – very tasty!

4:43 p.m.: I’ve been on a strict 1/3 pint diet today. But 18 thirds are enough … I’ll move on to Stansted now.

5:52 p.m.: Great: Despite the current strike, I got a seat on Stansted Express‘ reduced hourly service.

7:48 p.m.: Since joining CAMRA at GBBF 2008, I just got to use my 1st „50p off“ voucher for a Real Ale – at Stansted’s Wetherspoon pub, of all places.
The Windmill Bar at Stansted Airport

7:53 p.m.: Just like yesterday morning, I’m wondering: YTF are people joining a line for a flight that hasn’t even started boarding yet?

8:11 p.m.: Just had a nice chat with a Ryanair ground agent – even as a pro, she’s has no explanation why people seem to like standing in line so much.

8:13 p.m.: STN-LBC

10:45 p.m.: Cute! People were clapping because the pilot managed to land the plane without crashing.

A short clip with scenes from this year’s GBBF:

And here is a clip from last year.

7 Antworten

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  1. Wahnsinn! Schon wieder ist ein Jahr vergangen …



    9. August 2009 at 16:48

  2. @jou: Die Zeit vergeht wie im Fluge, wenn man so viel Bier … ähh … Spaß hat. 😉



    12. August 2009 at 18:25

  3. […] Juli das Mehfil Hotel, das ich sofort von Stuttgart aus für meinen zweitägigen Trip zum Great British Beer Festival im August 2009 buchte. Da ich am Abend des ersten Tages sowieso nach Southall fahren wollte, gab es […]


  4. […] Bericht übers Great British Beer Festival 2009. […]


  5. […] In this blog entry, I mainly collected my Twitter and Facebook posts (some in German). You can also check out previous reports: 2008’s “Ein halber Tag in London” (in German) and 2009’s “Drinking for a Good Cause”. […]


  6. […] Great British Beer Festival Great British Beer Festival 2011: Trinken für den guten Zweck Great British Beer Festival 2009: Drinking for a Good Cause Great British Beer Festival 2009: The Beers Ein halber Tag in London: Great British Beer Festival […]


  7. […] Great British Beer Festival Great British Beer Festival 2011: Trinken für den guten Zweck Great British Beer Festival 2009: Drinking for a Good Cause Great British Beer Festival 2009: The Beers Ein halber Tag in London: Great British Beer Festival […]


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