Great British Beer Festival 2009: Drinking for a Good Cause
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!
6:44 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.
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”).
5:33 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!
7:50 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.
8:30 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.
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.
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.
7:53 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.