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> Newbury Beer Festival 2009
Iommi
post Sep 13 2009, 10:34 AM
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I enjoyed yesterday afternoon at the Beer Festival and here are a few points...


The beer barrels should have had the strength written on the labels like the cider ones did.

They could have cut down the need for a program by having a board showing the beers available.

I wish they would have a list of beer ordered by strength.

No hint of trouble whatsoever (up to 18:00).

The rock bands were crap.

The cider ran out quickly.

The ciders I tried tasted crap.

There wasn't many beers over 5%

There were long queues for the burger van.

It seems to get more popular every year.



As September seems now to be traditionally a dry month, perhaps it would be better to host the Crafty Craft or Carnival in this month also!
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Strafin
post Sep 13 2009, 10:53 AM
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I have never had real ale before but went along as I had heard some very good things and I loved it. I thought the music was good but in the wrong place, I thought the selection of ales and knowledge of those serving was excellent. I tried some cider but found it to be quite sour so stuck with the ale. The expresso beer was my favourite. They could have done with another catering unit, but I wish I had taken a pic-nic and will do next year. The tasting guides/menus were very comprehensive and detailed all the ABV's. We didn't really know what we doing so we ordered our ages first, then the numbers we normally get at our local chinese!
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user23
post Sep 13 2009, 12:23 PM
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I was there and was amazed how busy it was. Great to see you can have 500 or so people all drinking right next to each other and as you say there was no trouble whatsoever that I saw.

I agree about the bands too, they were hidden up one end of the tent.
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Guest_Bill1_*
post Sep 13 2009, 12:28 PM
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Iommi, were the bands really all crap or just not metal enough for you?

I've seen Julian Tulk's band before and really enjoyed them.
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Iommi
post Sep 13 2009, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (Bill1 @ Sep 13 2009, 01:28 PM) *
Iommi, were the bands really all crap or just not metal enough for you?

Nowt to do with style of music, just the interpretation. The last thing I'd like to hear would be 'metal' on a day like yesterday.

QUOTE (Bill1 @ Sep 13 2009, 01:28 PM) *
I've seen Julian Tulk's band before and really enjoyed them.

They were OK, but I'd much rather hear the band that was in the LSB today.

I've been spoiled by being a lad from the 70s/80s where the standard of pub bands seemed to be much higher back then.
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Gumbo
post Sep 14 2009, 10:55 AM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Sep 13 2009, 10:08 PM) *
Nowt to do with style of music, just the interpretation. The last thing I'd like to hear would be 'metal' on a day like yesterday.


They were OK, but I'd much rather hear the band that was in the LSB today.

I've been spoiled by being a lad from the 70s/80s where the standard of pub bands seemed to be much higher back then.


Did you hear Bib Fortuna? have seen them before in the Dolphin and they do IMO excellent covers. Normal lead singer wasn't there on Saturday but they still sounded ok to me.

I think the idea of sticking the bands away inside the tent was a bad one and the organisers should look to address that next year. Do they think people who are not buying beer will pay to go inside the tent to watch the bands? or is it just in-case of rain?

I also think they need to have better catering facilities availabe, they were too tightly packed into the same area and this lead to crowding, plus there were long queues at each vendor e.g. one of my friends queued nearly 30 minutes for an ice cream.

Not sure it was a good idea having a cricket match taking place at the same time. On a couple of occasions I heard shouts from the pitch for people to get out of the after somebody hit a big shot. A lot of people were not actually watching the cricket so a nasty accident could have taken place.

Apart from that I think it is an excellent festival that will grow and grow and I for one will be back next year.
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Brewmaster
post Sep 14 2009, 12:41 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Sep 13 2009, 11:53 AM) *
I have never had real ale before but went along as I had heard some very good things and I loved it. I thought the music was good but in the wrong place, I thought the selection of ales and knowledge of those serving was excellent. I tried some cider but found it to be quite sour so stuck with the ale.

You and Iommi are obviously not drinkers of craft cider but probably drink Magners' or Bulmers' apple-flavoured sugar water. I know both the local cider makers who supplied the Festival, and their products are not sour. They are made from local cooking and eating apples, and taste much different from the over-sweet, heavily advertised slop sold in most pubs or the high-tannin ciders from the West Country. They are dry, sharp and fruity. In any case, there were a large number of ciders and perries on sale, all with different tastes and flavours. Were they all crap or sour?

I got to the Festival at 7 pm, and was not able to buy any vouchers to get a drink. The place was a shambles, with litter everywhere and groups of people who were obviously binge drinking. I got the impression that by this time most people there would have drunk toilet cleaner! Many of the clientele were attracted by the rock music rather than the ale or cider, so their interest in the drinks was minimal, except as a way of getting hammered.

I've been to lots of beer and cider festivals, both CAMRA and others, and they are normally events for people to sample and enjoy the different types of drinks, occasionally with some suitable musical entertainment. The Newbury Real Ale festival should change its name to The Newbury Rock Festival, as that appeared to be the main attraction. The drinks are incidental and most people's appreciation of them non-existent. A much-reduced list would make life easier for the organisers and raise just as much money for the Naomi Hospice.
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Gumbo
post Sep 14 2009, 12:52 PM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Sep 14 2009, 01:41 PM) *
I got to the Festival at 7 pm, and was not able to buy any vouchers to get a drink. The place was a shambles, with litter everywhere and groups of people who were obviously binge drinking. I got the impression that by this time most people there would have drunk toilet cleaner! Many of the clientele were attracted by the rock music rather than the ale or cider, so their interest in the drinks was minimal, except as a way of getting hammered.

I've been to lots of beer and cider festivals, both CAMRA and others, and they are normally events for people to sample and enjoy the different types of drinks, occasionally with some suitable musical entertainment. The Newbury Real Ale festival should change its name to The Newbury Rock Festival, as that appeared to be the main attraction. The drinks are incidental and most people's appreciation of them non-existent. A much-reduced list would make life easier for the organisers and raise just as much money for the Naomi Hospice.


I would say before 7pm it was much the opposite, from what I saw it mainly people sampling and enjoying the different types of drinks and hardly anybody paying attention to the musical entertainment. As the event started at Noon I think it is a little naive of you Brewmaster to expect to see sensible beardies sitting around chatting about fine hops at 7pm.
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Guest_Bill1_*
post Sep 14 2009, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Sep 13 2009, 10:08 PM) *
Nowt to do with style of music, just the interpretation. The last thing I'd like to hear would be 'metal' on a day like yesterday.


They were OK, but I'd much rather hear the band that was in the LSB today.

I've been spoiled by being a lad from the 70s/80s where the standard of pub bands seemed to be much higher back then.



I dont recall that there as much local live music around back then.

The scene has vastly improved recently in as much as there is more choice.
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Iommi
post Sep 14 2009, 02:06 PM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Sep 14 2009, 01:41 PM) *
You and Iommi are obviously not drinkers of craft cider but probably drink Magners' or Bulmers' apple-flavoured sugar water. I know both the local cider makers who supplied the Festival, and their products are not sour. They are made from local cooking and eating apples, and taste much different from the over-sweet, heavily advertised slop sold in most pubs or the high-tannin ciders from the West Country. They are dry, sharp and fruity. In any case, there were a large number of ciders and perries on sale, all with different tastes and flavours. Were they all crap or sour?

'Crap' was probably a poor choice of word on my part. I tried 3 (they had sold out of most I would have like to sample).

The commercial ciders might be 'slop' to the connoisseur, but to be honest they are usually a pleasent drink, which is the main thing. Of the alcopops, I like Strongbow as it happens. The problem I had with the ones I tried, were that they had an aftertaste, rather like one could taste the plastic of the container. In any case, I prefer ale. We went to the cider because there seemed to be fewer strong ales that I remember from last time and like you said, there were too many, making choosing hard.

QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Sep 14 2009, 01:41 PM) *
I've been to lots of beer and cider festivals, both CAMRA and others, and they are normally events for people to sample and enjoy the different types of drinks, occasionally with some suitable musical entertainment. The Newbury Real Ale festival should change its name to The Newbury Rock Festival, as that appeared to be the main attraction. The drinks are incidental and most people's appreciation of them non-existent. A much-reduced list would make life easier for the organisers and raise just as much money for the Naomi Hospice.

I've been to a few and this one seemed similar, save for the music. I agree, the band should be away from the bar, or maybe an apron hung, partitioning the band from the bar.

I don't think a hard rock band is the best choice of music either. It would be better if it were more lightwieght, like folk (rock) or jazz. The singers for the afternoon's bands were rather grating.
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user23
post Sep 14 2009, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE (Gumbo @ Sep 14 2009, 01:52 PM) *
I would say before 7pm it was much the opposite, from what I saw it mainly people sampling and enjoying the different types of drinks and hardly anybody paying attention to the musical entertainment. As the event started at Noon I think it is a little naive of you Brewmaster to expect to see sensible beardies sitting around chatting about fine hops at 7pm.
I'd agree with that. I left around 7pm and there was very little interest in the music all afternoon, probably due to where it was located, and much more interest in the different types of ale.
QUOTE (Iommi @ Sep 14 2009, 03:06 PM) *
In any case, I prefer ale. We went to the cider because there seemed to be fewer strong ales that I remember from last time and like you said, there were too many, making choosing hard.
I noticed that the 9% ale sold out rather quickly!
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Iommi
post Sep 14 2009, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Sep 14 2009, 03:39 PM) *
I noticed that the 9% ale sold out rather quickly!

Yes, by around 15:30. The 9%er was also listed as Barley Wine!
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user23
post Sep 14 2009, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Sep 14 2009, 03:54 PM) *
Yes, by around 15:30. The 9%er was also listed as Barley Wine!
It seems to be a general problem with some CAMRA types.

They want their ales to be enjoyed by everyone but then complain when the "wrong sort" of people turn up to this sort of event. I'm afraid they can't have it both ways.
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Brewmaster
post Sep 14 2009, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Sep 14 2009, 03:06 PM) *
'Crap' was probably a poor choice of word on my part. I tried 3 (they had sold out of most I would have like to sample).

The commercial ciders might be 'slop' to the connoisseur, but to be honest they are usually a pleasent drink, which is the main thing. Of the alcopops, I like Strongbow as it happens. The problem I had with the ones I tried, were that they had an aftertaste, rather like one could taste the plastic of the container. In any case, I prefer ale. We went to the cider because there seemed to be fewer strong ales that I remember from last time and like you said, there were too many, making choosing hard.

I've been to a few and this one seemed similar, save for the music. I agree, the band should be away from the bar, or maybe an apron hung, partitioning the band from the bar.

I don't think a hard rock band is the best choice of music either. It would be better if it were more lightwieght, like folk (rock) or jazz. The singers for the afternoon's bands were rather grating.

It sounds as if we largely agree.

The various comments on strong ales indicates the difference between this and what I would call 'proper' beer festivals. People who go to those to sample the ales and ciders don't go for the stronger ones, but normally work up from the weakest. Here the desire seemed to be to home in on the highest-alcohol drinks in order to get smashed as soon as possible. Each to his own.

Last Saturday seemed to me to be a smaller version of the Shalbourne Beer and Music Festival; a title which is rather more accurate.
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user23
post Sep 14 2009, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Sep 14 2009, 04:25 PM) *
The various comments on strong ales indicates the difference between this and what I would call 'proper' beer festivals. People who go to those to sample the ales and ciders don't go for the stronger ones, but normally work up from the weakest.
You mean SOME people who go to those to sample the ales and ciders don't go for the stronger ones, not everyone.

Personally I'd stay away from 9% beer on a sunny hot afternoon, but as you say, each to their own.
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Strafin
post Sep 14 2009, 03:57 PM
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QUOTE (user23 @ Sep 14 2009, 03:39 PM) *
I'd agree with that. I left around 7pm and there was very little interest in the music all afternoon, probably due to where it was located, and much more interest in the different types of ale.I noticed that the 9% ale sold out rather quickly!

There was some left at 6:00pm, it stared at noon so that's not bad
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Strafin
post Sep 14 2009, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE (Brewmaster @ Sep 14 2009, 01:41 PM) *
You and Iommi are obviously not drinkers of craft cider but probably drink Magners' or Bulmers' apple-flavoured sugar water. I know both the local cider makers who supplied the Festival, and their products are not sour.

I found the cider at the festival rather sour, I don't normally drink any cider at all so I am not suprised that I wasn't keen, but to judge without trying something would have been bad form (I tried 2). I am not saying it was bad, just not to my taste. Sour/sharp it's the same thing.
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JeffG
post Sep 14 2009, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Sep 14 2009, 05:01 PM) *
I don't normally drink any cider at all so I am not suprised that I wasn't keen

Someone not a million miles from this forum used to brew cider, though sadly no longer in production quantities, and I think you would have enjoyed his hot, spiced, mulled cider which he served up at outdoor country events in the winter.

It was the main reason I went along smile.gif
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Andrea
post Sep 15 2009, 11:08 AM
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I was really disappointed by it. I turned up at about 4:00 and the queue to get in was out the gates, so we decided to pop to the LSB for a pint and then go back. We returned at 5:00 and were told that they weren't letting anyone else in as it was full. We still went in and chatted with a few people before moving on to the pubs in town but I thought it was ridiculous considering the amount of people that were leaving at that point!

This seems to have a huge flaw every year! Last year they ran out of everything by mid-afternoon, didn't they?
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Iommi
post Sep 15 2009, 12:36 PM
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The early bird catches the worm.
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