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The Long Haul (Part 2- Word from The Man On The Spot)

Our friend/homebrewer/beer enthusiast Les White has made his annual pilgrimage to The Great British Beer Festival where he is a volunteer worker (one of some thousand volunteers working the festival) and sent us this dispatch from the front lines ….

“Setup went smoothly and we’ve now been open to the public for 2 days. We actually set a new record for Tuesday attendance. Over 12,000 people through the doors, mostly press and trades people on Tuesday and they drank over 48,000 pints of beer!
All the Maryland beers survived the journey. Casks from Heavy Seas, Franklins, Stillwater and of course, Olivers 3 Lions on Oak made the trip. I know the foreign bar manager pretty well so I told him these were ‘local’ beers for me and I would be happy to test them out to make sure they were just as good as in Baltimore. He happily obliged and we had a small tasting. All are delicious as ever. Heavy Seas Pale seems to have been a popular one as it was gone by Wed afternoon!
The foreign beer bar, called Bier Sans Frontieres (or some fancy french phrase) has quite an impressive selection of American beers this year. A new layout to the bar, somewhat U shaped with 3 sides. The largest of these sides is dedicated solely to American beer with at least 50 casks and an impressive bottle selection. Didn’t see any draft this year which is unusual. The Brits are really enjoying the American hops as seen in the ever growing selection of English real ales using American hop varieties.
Today will be another busy one and I’m going to be short staffed unless the staffing office sends down some more volunteers. The manager and a couple others are going on a tour of Fullers brewery. I’m jealous! Maybe next year.

That’s all for now. I’ll send another update in a couple days.”

The Champion Beer Of Britain results are as follows

Overall winners
Champion Beer of Britain – Castle Rock, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts)
Second – Timothy Taylor, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Keighley, West Yorkshire)
Third – Surrey Hills, Hammer Mild (3.8% ABV, Guildford, Surrey)

for full details see here

Check out those abvs people … true session beers! While I’m not one to shy away from big beers (my latest, Jacob’s Summer Celebration is 8.8%abv) I believe that a great session beer is a true measure of the brewer’s art … to bring complexity and balance of flavor to a low abv beer, where a potential flaw has nowhere to hide is a talent indeed. I have not had the pleasure of tasting the Harvest Pale or Hammer Mild but have had many pints of “Landlord” over the years and would agree that it is a wonderful beer and a worthy winner. Congratulations to all.

Just heard that Maryland’s own Heavy Seas placed 2nd in the judging of American beer at GBBF with their Loose Cannon … congratulations guys! Full results are …

1st- Smuttynose, Big A IPA (9.7% ABV, Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
2nd- Clipper City, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (7.3% ABV, Baltimore, Maryland)
3rd- Lost Abbey, Older Viscosity 2009 (12.5% ABV, San Marcos, CA)

  1. Brad says -

    Good stuff.

    Thanks for the updates Les! (and for posting Steve)