Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: phillamb168 on July 25, 2011, 10:02:05 AM

Title: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: phillamb168 on July 25, 2011, 10:02:05 AM
Anybody going? I've bought my tickets for Saturday.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: theoman on July 28, 2011, 09:02:56 AM
Might be fun, but no. I decided that I I'm not really a big fan of beer festivals. I don't like crowds and I don't like to drink too much. I'd go if I could plan a trip around it anyway, but nope, I'm not going to make too much of an effort to get there specifically for the festival.

I will go to Zythos next year, since they moved to a bigger location which happens to be a 15-20 minute drive (30 minute bus ride) from me. And I do like the Hasselt Beer Weekend. You don't have to fight with any crowds since they bring the beer to you, and they do a good job of picking interesting beers.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: phillamb168 on July 28, 2011, 10:05:55 AM
Might be fun, but no. I decided that I I'm not really a big fan of beer festivals. I don't like crowds and I don't like to drink too much. I'd go if I could plan a trip around it anyway, but nope, I'm not going to make too much of an effort to get there specifically for the festival.

I will go to Zythos next year, since they moved to a bigger location which happens to be a 15-20 minute drive (30 minute bus ride) from me. And I do like the Hasselt Beer Weekend. You don't have to fight with any crowds since they bring the beer to you, and they do a good job of picking interesting beers.

I've never been to a beer fest before, and we had planned to go to London without seeing that the fest was going on... Are the crowds really that bad?

Hasselt Beer Weekend sounds interesting ... website?
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: punatic on July 28, 2011, 10:10:05 AM
The GBBF was the inspiration for the GABF.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: theoman on July 28, 2011, 10:49:50 AM
I've never been to a beer fest before, and we had planned to go to London without seeing that the fest was going on... Are the crowds really that bad?

Well, it depends on the festival and you. I have an especially low tolerance for crowds. I really didn't like Zythos the last time I went. GABF has usually been ok, but I've always gone to the Saturday afternoon session. The evening sessions get a bit more crazy.

Quote
Hasselt Beer Weekend sounds interesting ... website?

http://www.limburgse-biervrienden.be/lbv/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69&Itemid=64

Now that I see the dates, I might not be able to go. I gotta double-check with the Mrs.

I might also go to the Kerstbierfestival (http://www.kerstbierfestival.be/ENG/index.htm), since I have a friend coming to town and is planning his trip around it. I think it's the same format as Hasselt, not the fight-to-the-front idea like Zythos or GABF. One thing I'll say about Zythos - it's usually the brewers manning their booths, so you often get a chance to chat with them if the line isn't too crazy (gotta go early).

Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: phillamb168 on July 28, 2011, 10:53:36 AM
Damn, 11 November is the tentative date for my wife's family's Cousinade... Too bad. Although perhaps I could convince them to have it in Belgium instead of Bourgogne!
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 28, 2011, 04:17:30 PM
GBBF isn't normally too crowded. Earls Court is a very big venue!

Hoping to make it on the Saturday and meet up with you.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: macbrews on July 29, 2011, 12:22:29 AM
I went there in 2004.  Great beer and no significant crowds.  The only problem is that when I was there, your only option was to buy a half pint of whatever beer you were interested in.  No tasters.  That really limited the number of beers that you could taste in a session.  Other than that it was a lot of fun. 
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: bluesman on July 29, 2011, 01:18:43 AM
Wish I could go but it all comes down to $$$. If I had the money I would make every effort to go. Over 1000 real ales and counting....sounds like my kind of place.  :)
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: johnf on July 29, 2011, 07:30:28 AM
Going to try to go next year, too bad I'll never had made it to Earl's Court.

Thought I was going to luck into a free trip to London during the GBBF last year for work but it fell through. Wanted to go this year but between a trip back to Portland in August and having been away from home 8 of the last 12 weeks, this year isn't going to happen.

Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 29, 2011, 07:33:51 AM
I went there in 2004.  Great beer and no significant crowds.  The only problem is that when I was there, your only option was to buy a half pint of whatever beer you were interested in.  No tasters.  That really limited the number of beers that you could taste in a session.  Other than that it was a lot of fun. 

Go with a group of people, get a range of different beers and share  ;)

And have a plan from the list of what yo think you want to try before you go in (allow for flexibility)
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: phillamb168 on July 29, 2011, 07:43:46 AM
I went there in 2004.  Great beer and no significant crowds.  The only problem is that when I was there, your only option was to buy a half pint of whatever beer you were interested in.  No tasters.  That really limited the number of beers that you could taste in a session.  Other than that it was a lot of fun. 

Apparently this year they're allowing 1/4 pints, which sounds much more reasonable to me.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 29, 2011, 08:37:33 AM
I went there in 2004.  Great beer and no significant crowds.  The only problem is that when I was there, your only option was to buy a half pint of whatever beer you were interested in.  No tasters.  That really limited the number of beers that you could taste in a session.  Other than that it was a lot of fun. 

Apparently this year they're allowing 1/4 pints, which sounds much more reasonable to me.

There's just been a change in the licensing law which allows for this, although they sometimes do thirds. I have a GBBF glass somewhere that has a third, half and full pint marked on it, and room for head on top!
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: punatic on July 29, 2011, 09:36:48 PM

I have a GBBF glass somewhere that has a third, half and full pint marked on it, and room for head on top!


Now THAT'S a beer festival!   ;)
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 29, 2011, 09:48:21 PM

I have a GBBF glass somewhere that has a third, half and full pint marked on it, and room for head on top!


Now THAT'S a beer festival!   ;)

Actually I have a similar glass from the Bristol Beer festival (CAMRA organized too). It has my Citra Pale Ale in it right now.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YYhkZ98pjgA/TjMpq3B4Z0I/AAAAAAAAABI/JpXmDoK5lm8/s512/2011-07-29%25252022.39.57.jpg)
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: theoman on July 30, 2011, 07:38:40 AM
The Belgian festivals I've been to have free entrance and you pay 1-1.50 euros per 15 cl pour. I figure I'd be willing to pay 20-30 euros for entrance if the samples were free. So, I go in planning to spend that amount on samples and dumping what I don't like. 20 or so tastes is plenty for me, I've learned. What I really think is fun is the look and the questions I get when I ask for a nearly full sample to be dumped. They don't get it. I get the same reaction when I ask for mustard on my crab sandwich.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: theoman on July 30, 2011, 07:40:03 AM
To get back on track of the GBBF, check out this blog entry:
http://www.thirstypilgrim.com/2011/07/overheard-in-gbbf-pisser.html
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: punatic on July 30, 2011, 04:49:03 PM
Mustard on a crab sandwhich?!  Oh the humanity!  ???

Well, maybe a mustard aoli...
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 30, 2011, 04:49:43 PM
The Belgian festivals I've been to have free entrance and you pay 1-1.50 euros per 15 cl pour. I figure I'd be willing to pay 20-30 euros for entrance if the samples were free. So, I go in planning to spend that amount on samples and dumping what I don't like. 20 or so tastes is plenty for me, I've learned. What I really think is fun is the look and the questions I get when I ask for a nearly full sample to be dumped. They don't get it. I get the same reaction when I ask for mustard on my crab sandwich.

Brits don't dump beer. We like to be sure we get everything we've paid for (see Jamil's comments in Brewing Classic Styles) Not consuming the entirety just isn't done in the UK. This is why you get funny looks when you try to do something different.
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: alikocho on July 30, 2011, 04:56:55 PM
Festival programme and beer list here - http://www.camra.org.uk/WBBEERflippables/gbbfprogramme2011/index.html (http://www.camra.org.uk/WBBEERflippables/gbbfprogramme2011/index.html)
Title: Re: Great British Beer Festival
Post by: phillamb168 on August 10, 2011, 07:47:55 AM
Too bad I missed you Ali - we had a blast. Met some interesting people, and the family room was great, really well done. I didn't drink nearly as much as I wanted to, though - half of the stands were out of beer. Next time I go for the very first day.

Also of note, we had some AMAZING beer and food at the Lord Palmerston just off the Tuffnel Park tube (http://www.geronimo-inns.co.uk/thelordpalmerston/)