Saturday, 23 July 2011


The GBBF means something to me.

I was at its first incarnation, in Covent Garden in 1975*. I worked as a volunteer at Ally Pally, slept on the stage, built scaffolding, drank lambik for the first time, met some wonderful people.

It's a cumbersome, crowded, noisy event with too few seats, inadequate toilets and an arbitrary selection of beers. Imperfect. But a celebration. A celebration of beer.

Hundreds of beers from all over the world. Prices are lower than most pubs. Huge numbers of the general public. Organised and staffed by volunteers (which is why the prices are so low). US cask beers** you never see in Europe.

Yeah, rubbish festival.

Don't whinge about what it isn't. Celebrate the GBBF for what it is.

* With Martin Young. The second time I visited London.
** US brewers seem to have no problem sending cask to the GBBF.


Ed said...

No whinging from me. I've got a free ticket, work's paying for my travel and one of me beers is there. :-)

doug said...

I've never seen some of those US cask ales over here in the US!

One of these years my summer travel plans will work out so I can make it over to GBBF, but not this year.

Bailey said...

Interesting to hear your point of view on this.

We certainly wouldn't ever say GBBF is a bad thing and you and others are right to remind us all that the volunteer staff deserve a pat on the back, not a kick in the nads.