Every Year we go through this trial.
It begins months in advance, if it ever stops, with long conversations in the pub that devolve into arguments about budgets and planning. Old hands and former chairmen argue with management teams and auditors. Nonetheless somewhere along the line things are agreed and resources are ordered. Two weeks before the festival is due to open kit begins to arrive. Specialist volunteers give up their time to run site and cellar – general members of CAMRA cannot be relied upon to understand alarm systems, drive fork lifts or even test beer etc and even as the pool of volunteers widens whilst the festival looms nearer many are less helpful than might be wished.
I lugged and I lifted, I tapped and tasted, dipped and drank. I didn’t work even half as hard as B did (He took 2 weeks off to be at the site 9-6 everyday) and I am exhausted.
Highlights for me included:
Arbor Ales: Breakfast Stout 7.4% – Coffee and Chocolate Delight
Bingham’s Brewery: Imperial Doodle Stout 7.0% – Thick and satisfying
Wheal Maiden: Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer 5.5% – Its just something else..!
A lot of people came through the gates, much beer and cider and wine were drunk and games played. I won’t know for weeks whether we broke even or not but I just hope it was worth it.