A couple of weeks back I made it down to The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court in London for the 5th time running. The usual suspects were present and correct, with Cousin Iain, Nicola, and their friends helping Thursday night along after I’d flown down in the afternoon.
Friday was the main event, though, with myself, Iain and Charlie meeting up for a fine breakfast at Cafe Continente in West Kensington, before heading in to Earls Court just after 1pm. Much to our surprise it was already quite busy, but not so much that you had to queue too long at each bar. The bars themselves were differently laid out this year – in alphabetical order instead of the usual regional layout. This was initially confusing, as one of the Cornish breweries (St Austell) was where I remembered Cornwall being in previous years, so it took a while before I realised that they were in alphabetical order.
I could wax lyrical about all of the great ales we tasted, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t really remember. Not because we were staggering about in a stupor, but because the day was so packed with good company that it was easy to forget that the beer was meant to be the attraction. I think that’s the case at all good beer festivals, though – if the ales are fine and the company is good then it’s the best place in the world to be.