There was more than a healthy spread of the UK’s demographic present at the Camp and Furnace over the third weekend in June, all of whom seemed happy, enthused and remarkably positive about yet another shot in the arm for the City of Liverpool in its own ongoing gastronomic proliferation.
The first beer went down a little slower than is usually to be expected, primarily a courtesy of the reveries from the evening before, but thankfully things were able to gather pace after that. Pace, just in time for my pencil to decide to give up on me (a retractable in case you’re wondering), robbing me of an ability to note any of the hazy observations about the beverages on offer and make succinct tasting notes. However, that was never really going to be the raison d’etre for this piece, so there is no real huge loss.
The usual system of tokens was in place; a crisp £10 got you a card of 20 tokens with the beer prices coming in at around the 3-6 token mark generally speaking. The beers were served both from keg and cask across a number of bars spread around the periphery of the Furnace. Aside from smaller blackboards, pump clips at the bars and a larger ‘masterboard’ (which was often inaccurate) at the door into the Furnace, there was little way of deciding what your next beverage would be. A minor failing in the whole process for such an event was not to put any tasting notes or comprehensive list of the beers on offer in the actual event programme. This therefore failed to mitigate the trying of a beer which may have initially sounded enticing, but turned out to be a rather dull brown offering or a bog standard mild with a very misleading name (I hasten to add that this wasn’t exactly the case – but on more than one occasion I was stuck with half a pint of something not exactly pleasant to my palate). This failing was in part dealt with by many bartenders offering small tasters of a beer prior to taking away the half pint, which was a very welcome facet to proceedings.
There has been mention in national press (the Guardian no less, at least, prior to the event slipped into an article about the ‘rise of craft beer’ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/jun/13/craft-beer-guide-beginners]) of the endeavours undertaken by the Expo Liverpool Echo posted this piece about the Expo: [http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/review-liverpool-craft-beer-festival-4325877]. There is even some footage posted right here: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3kZxuiq6i0] with a nice panoramic shot of the Furnace for all to see. There was even some blogging (shock horror) on the event, although I’ve not had a chance to trawl them all, Allgates Brewery did post this: [http://allgatesbrewery.com/allgates-brewery-blog/2013/06/liverpool-craft-beer-festival/].
An education, an experience and most certainly, overall, a pleasure; here’s to the next one!
Many thanks to Jon Young for his photography skills on the afternoon.
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