Well i know its been a few weeks, but ive been away.
Once again i tried to balance family life, helping out at GBBF and drinking at GBBF.
So having driven down to my sisters, Short trip into London for a Beer Tasting and a Day out at Legoland, it was time to head back into London for GBBF.
This year the Off-Peak Train times had changed, allowing me to head in half an hour earlier than previous years and found a slightly better route in, using the over land train from Clapham Junction to West Brompton, so i arrived about an hour earlier than normal, at just after 10am. Straight in and up to the Staffing Desk, got signed in, but no accommodation, still no worries will be sorted out in a few hours. So ts time to head down to the US cask bar, its really interesting in Earls court coming down the Escalator, you get a great view of the hall, which is mostly empty at this point.
Now i arrived on opening day with about an hour to half to go, and its just amazing just how much work has gone on, remember all of GBBF is run via volunteer, even the main organiser does it as a volunteer, along side his main job, and looking into the hall, its clear just how big the scale of the operation is, but all that was already done, so off to the International Bar to help with the final touches, the stocking of the International Bottle. This year we were not quite as well organised and when we opened the fridges well certainly stocked the 30+ cask due on on Tuesday were all vented and ready, but the bottle prices were not marked on the fridges as they usually are, and when some of the punters arrived including one bloke (and i know who you are) spent £200 on beers it was a right pain to find each bottle price and add them all up. After a short stint catering to the bottle rush, i moved along the frontage to my favourite section the US Cask beers. I love Cask beer, i love US beer, so this is a great chance to merge the two worlds. But the great thing about working the bar is the people you meet. Everyone knew where i was going to be, and all the "cool" people drink at the US bar, so lots of friends and twitterites came by to say hi, and there are always people who want to know more about beer, or just want to chat beer. So all told im in my element.
Finish work at the Bar come 5:30 i head of to meet up with the Rate Beer Crowd. Its always fun to drink with the crowd, good chat good times.
Special mention though to @BeerReviewsAndy from the twitterverse for bringing a very rare never commercially released bottle of Sharp Offal beer, and let me tell you it was anything but awful.
Then come about 10pm it was time to head off to the Room that had been arranged for me at Imperial college london, very handily just a few tube stops away, and i have to say it was lovely, one of the best ive had over the GBBF years. So cheers for that.