Saturday late afternoon was the end of our time at The Brewery and the conference section of the weekend. The talks were over and it was time to relax, feast, drink and be merry.
Before we could relax though, we had a little bit of a walk ahead of us. What better way to work up a thirst. We emerged from The Brewery to a very sunny London. The whole gang of us, some seventy odd people were on our way to Dirty Dicks for dinner. Of course no guides with umbrellas for us as that would be far too odd on such a sunny day. Instead we had people walking on stilts and dressed in old clothes with baskets of hops.
Like Royalty the hops were thrown along our path and on our heads. OK perhaps it's not rose petals but still... We were treated like royalty all the same.
After a lovely and interesting stroll through London we arrived at Dirty Dicks where we headed downstairs to the private basement. We were greeted by, well Tavern Wenches I suppose you would call them. They held out trays of Bombardier at the bottom of the stairs which is a service I find lacking in most pubs.
I wonder is this standard service at Wells & Youngs pubs?
We were treated to a wonderful dinner and as much beer as we could manage.
There was also a personal video from the General and then we were shown the new Bombardier ad featuring Rik Mayall as the Bombardier. The one on TV recently is a much shorter and family friendly version.
Part of the entertainment was a snail race for charity. Which one I do not recall but it was £1 to enter. I picked number 2 who was about an inch from the finish line for a half hour and it seems he gave up. The prize? The winners went in to a draw for a years supply of beer!!! So close but it was not to be.
At some point during the evening, Dave and Mark got up and started some sort of odd dance...
Actually it was a series of questions where you answered with either hands on head or on hips. In the end it came down to Dave and Mark.
Hands on hips was the correct answer and Dave won a years supply of beer. Lucky sod is a brewer (Hardknott) and has no shortage of beer himself. Well that's not true as he needs to sell all that to make a living.
Later on we had a Q & A with some of the brewers etc from Wells & Youngs which included Paul Wells (head honcho). It was very informative and lots of fun.
All too soon it was time to go. Wells & Youngs gave us some goody bags with beer, T-Shirts and other stuff.
Many thanks to the good folks at Wells & Youngs for a wonderful evening of food and beer. As always I enjoyed the Double Chocolate Stout.
They put up a Flickr page with photos which can be viewed here.
We were provided with taxis to take us to Camden Town Brewery for The night of many beers.
I did not get to actually tour the brewery, there was far too much drinking to do. I might get to rectify that some other time.
Marble from Manchester was there with some fine beers. Interesting stuff and I can talk more about them in a later post.
I was a little excited to see the stand from the Czech tourist board because Kocour was supposed to be there. Alas it was bad. I was given a taste anyway but it was infected too badly to drink.
Our hosts for the evening were also showing their wares. They were solid beers and great people. I look forward to more from them.
Christopher Williams and I had some good chats during the conference events but tonight he was on duty for the family brewery. I am a big fan of many of their beers and he had a great selection available.
And here we come to the most interesting table because I have had and heard of absolutely none of these beers. Alas I was too full to drink much of anything here. The night of many beers had really started at Dirty Dicks. I had some very small samples but I did get plenty of bottles home to try so I can talk more on these later. Italy and Sweden were well represented though.
I would have loved to have some Irish beers over to be honest. Perhaps next year, especially if it happens in Burton on Trent as rumour suggests because I could drive over and bring plenty of beer. There are a number of Irish micro breweries selling their beer in the UK and the rest of Europe after all. In fact a few are having a good crack at the US market with great success.
The Swedish and Italian table was very busy. Easily because these beers are probably very scarce, if available at all in the UK.
There were of course other breweries present, too many to list and I did not get to try everything. I did start off with some Rogue Ales when I walked in the door. I visited the Rogue Alehouse in San Francisco but only had one beer as I assumed I would make it back but I never did. Thankfully many of their beers are available in bottles here in Ireland.
At kicking out time, those of us who were still around walked to the tube station and headed back to our hotels. I had a rather good sized box of beer requiring both hands to bring back to the hotel. I was already thinking that I have way too much beer to get home....