Tuesday, 7 May 2013

London's Brewing Up a Shitstorm

6am. That's the time I got up on Saturday to get the 7:30am train with Ben, Jay & Lee to go to Free Comic Book Day & London's Brewing Beer Festival. 6am. I don't even get up that early when I have work during the week. Thankfully the train journey was made bearable throughout my tiredness with awesome company and Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12. A bit special for train beer and very delicious.

As soon as we got to London, we headed to Forbidden Planet comic book shop - and got lost in the process - as it was free comic book day. We queued up and claimed our free comic book goodie bag and spent about an hour looking at the various books and memorobilia before heading to the Convent Garden area for cupcakes.

After spending about a fucking hour trapped on the central line sweating our tits off we finally got to Bethnal Green tube and walked down to the London Fields Brewery taproom. We saw that the queue of London's Brewing was massive and not moving so we decided to pop in there for a drink. We were quite disappointed that there was no draught beer available, just bottles but we went for it anyway as Sid and Glyn had alerted us that London's Brewing wasn't even open yet, despite it being half an hour after it was meant to open. I had their Unfiltered Lager which is awesome with the lemony flavours with yeasty notes and the grainy yet refreshing mouthfeel.

We finished out beers and decided to queue up where we were alerted by my mate Ian on the other side of the crash barriers that it's really not worth our time as it's taking forever to get served. Apparently they were handing out refunds which we considered but by the time we got to the front of the line they'd apparently run out of money.

We finally got inside and were handed a 2/3 pint glass, a programme and a stamp card worth 9 x 1/3 pints and headed into the first room where we were shocked by the almighty and unorganised queue. Because of the depth of it, we couldn't actually see what beers were on so we had to grab a spot and hope for the best. After 40 minutes I finally got served an EXTREMELY short pour of Weird Beard 5 O'Clock Shadow which was the best beer of the festival for me. It's an IPA with big peachy flavours and a nice bitterness but is also very smooth at the same time.

I then wanted to try Weird Beard's Mariana Trench but was informed that the keg tap was fucking labelled wrong and it was actually Windsor & Eton Republika. How the fuck do you do that?

We wandered through to the cask room to find that it was queued to fuckery and impossible to get in. Looking at both rooms it appeared that they had sold way too many tickets.

We got to have a few more beers, not as many as we had liked though as every time it took about 30-40 minutes to get to the fucking bar.

I mentioned earlier about short pours and well, every time I went to get 2/3rds of a pint I was given just over 1/3rd but they stamped my card for 2, the robbing fuckers. I didn't pay £20 to go to a beer festival and just drink foam. The keg taps were fucking stupid, they were like the taps you probably have in your kitchen or bathroom and way too pressurised meaning all they could do was pour head and to actually even get a third it took about 10 minutes.

It was the most stressful beer festival or event of any kind that I've ever been to and if I wasn't in such awesome company, I would've fucked off as soon as I got there.

I feel cheated and ripped off.

What a fucking mess.

Nate

11 comments:

  1. Sounds a shocker Nate, I almost went myself tbh, so glad I stayed home & hit Manchester instead

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    1. It was probably for the best mate. Other people seemed to have better experiences than me, thankfully.

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  2. But it's craft so they are right and you the customer is wrong. Jeez, get with it.

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    1. Apologies. I keep forgetting the "Thou shalt never speak ill of craft" commandment.

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  3. Seriously, at least the builders weren't still moving lumber and bricks about like they were on the trade day. The Friday trade session was supposed to run from 12 - 3, but didn't open until around 1. there were no keg beers on as "all the chillers had broken". In the end they allowed us all to stay until about 5ish (when we all went to The Cock instead) as they managed to get the Keg bar open by around 3.30.

    As for the Mariana, I told them on Friday afternoon it was the wrong line, Brian was with me and said the same so simply amateur that they didn't sort it before the public session on Saturday.

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    1. So I heard. It's a fucking disgrace. I mean, that's a great advertisement to get more London pubs and shops to start stocking London beers, by limiting your selection.

      I saw Brian on Saturday, he was trying to get it sorted still. By the end of the session, it was apparently on the right line

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  4. Sounds like The Cock did pretty well out of it, anyway.

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    1. Yep. I was gonna suggest we go there but ended up in Brewdog Shoreditch which was cool.

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  5. Dearie, dearie me. I was meant to be judging but that was called off as they had seemingly sold some of the beers thst were due to be judged.

    Come back CAMRA. All is forgiven.

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    1. Ha. Jesus, that's absurd! Isn't that why the judging usually happens before the festival?!

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  6. Sounds like a mess, I hope they and other indy beer festivals learn from the mistakes made here.

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