Officially the biggest and most important beer festival in the real ale trade in Britain; its a bit dull to be honest.
I went to the trade session like I often do, and like most there its not really an attempt to make new business contacts so much as a perk offered to employees and loyal customers. As such its full of oddities and enthusiasm but not much in the way of new beer.
Most of what I saw I had tried before, some of the Cornish beers weren’t yet ready and a couple of the wheat beers I tried were disappointing (I’m looking at you Outstanding White especially) but I did manage to have a couple of nice belgian beers and a touch of a gorgeous american IPA with habanero chilli as well as a lovely porter from Clanconnell brewery in Northern Ireland.
I also felt that the enthusiasm about the traditional bar games and even the camaradie of drinkers was missing.
I don’t know whether its a beer snobs problem with the great british or if there is a wider problem but it is just boring…