I'll Raise A Glass to That!

A first-timer visits Ealing's Beer Festival

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Ealing Beer Festival





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Friday the 9th of July was the day, my first visit to the Ealing Beer Festival, in fact it was my first visit to any of the Ealing Festivals having not been aware of them last time I lived in the area.

I managed to round up a few drinking partners (which wasn’t too hard) and headed down to Walpole Park. We arrived at around half past seven to find a rather large and disparaging queue. We joined like troupers and after around 40 minutes of listening to other peoples conversations we found ourselves near the front to be told it was not ‘one in, one out’ as the event was at full capacity. Another ten minutes of waiting for those who had reached beer saturation to leave and we were in.

After the dismay of not being able to get a beer glass branded for the Ealing Festival (I have Norwich 2009) I took in the atmosphere of the Festival. It was a warm summers evening, the event was set up with two main beer Tents and a one food tent. In the middle of the event were groups of friends lazing around, laughing and most of all enjoying the fine Ale being served up by the CAMRA volunteers.

We found a spot on the grass and headed off to find some ale to try. I am a particular fan of the lighter ales but seemed to have no luck in picking the correct ones from the huge range available. I would list some beer recommendations here but for some reason I can’t seem to quite remember the names of my favourite ones.

As we sat enjoying the atmosphere, we were treated to some live music which added to the atmosphere, looking around I was surprised to see the event was pretty much full of the younger crowd, proving that Real Ale and CAMRA Beer Festivals now appeal to a wider audience. This can only be good for the future of these events and for the Real Ale industry.

Overall, the event was one of the best I have attended in Ealing, the arena for the event was lovely, the crowd was good natured and of course the beer was very tasty. I look forward to welcoming the Beer Festival back next year (or sooner if they want)

Calum Mackay

16 July 2010

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