Last week I travelled down to London for my second visit to The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court. As last year had been so much fun, I was travelling down on the Thursday this time – a day earlier, to try and make the most of it.
In the event we only went on the Thursday night, but I did enjoy myself immensely and got to catch up with my mate Charlie, whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. The rest of the gang included unstroked Cousin Iain, Nicola and her flat-mate Victoria, Fred, Dave, and Elisabeth-Anne. There were a few others that turned up later on who were friends of Iain, but I didn’t really know them or speak to them much, so I don’t know their names.
First up was a pint of… well… whatever brewery it was we walked near first!
I used it to wash down a traditional cornish pastie, before we all headed over to the Scotland area, where I misguidedly told Fred & Charlie to order half pints of Belhaven. It does honestly taste much better in the Clyde Bar, back in Helensburgh, I explained, but this was a bit like a dewy eyed irishman explaining that Guinness tastes better back in Dublin.
I had my PSP and its camera attachment with me, so at this point I shot the first of “what’s your name and what are you drinking?” – a series of short video clips that I intended to take as the night went on until my memory stick was full. As it turned out I was more occupied with drinking beer and chatting than doing that, so we only got a few in. One of them starred Buttercup the pseudo porn-star cow from the Badger brewery stall, which Fred took quite a shine to.
Later I’d find out that Dave didn’t have a clue what he was drinking for his first half, that Fred was drinking “bitta!”, and Iain would film me struggling to contain my delight at finding Roosters YPA. This harks back to some time in 1999, when myself and Adrian happened upon an ale called Roosters Cream in the Hogs Head in Glasgow and managed to finish the keg by visiting for four consecutive nights after work. Since that illustrious week I had not had the good fortune to set lips upon another pint of Roosters’ produce, so it was quite a momentous discovery. 😉
We ended up back in the vicinity of the Scotland brewery area, standing talking as various people went up and brought back rounds of varying quality.
I cant really remember the names of anything else we had – the Roosters YPA was the high point for me – that and drunkenly telling the lovely girl behind the counter at Smart-T’s that “my girlfriend has roughly the same shape as yours” whilst ordering a t-shirt for Fliss. 😀
Just after ten o’clock we called it a night and headed off to the usual Indian restaurant at West Kensington, where Steve arrived fashionably late and saved us from making ourselves even more drunk by drinking our beer for us. Nice one, Steve! 😉
After the meal, Iain and I made our way back to his place via Nicola and Victoria’s, and ended up making a late night later – him from playing on his computer and me from laughing at the videos I’d recorded and the pictures I’d taken during the night. The images can be found here: Pictures of The Great British Beer Festival 2007.
All things being equal I’ll most likely be back down in London next August for the 2008 edition of The Great British Beer Festival in the hunt for more Roosters Cream – some traditions are well worth keeping.