Basically, we want to just hand the whole thing over to you.
I wasn’t quite expecting that.
So, it seems that I will be organising my first beer festival. That it will be part of the already succesful Grillstock festival in Bristol, a weekend of music, meat and mayhem, makes it just a little bit daunting. Still, it’s an undeniably amazing opportunity for me and a real CV builder, especially given my plans to work towards a Somelier accreditation which requires a dossier of beer industry experience.
The festival bar last year was run by Bristol Beer Factory. There was some excellent beer on offer but the bar suffered somewhat from overcrowding (partly due to it being an asylum from the periodic bouts of rain and partly due to the oft occuring issue of different amounts of money changing hands for a myriad of different products).
This year, there will be one main tent for those that just want to booze it up (one beer, one cider, one whisky, hopefully solving the money issue and making the custom flow much more efficiently). The plan is then to have a seperate craft beer area where we will have a number of local and national brewers showcasing their wares.
The finer details are yet to be concluded but it’s likely we’ll use some kind of bulk buy system (fiver for 3 halves, tenner for 7, that kind of thing). We’ll have food pairings, tasting lists, demos from the brewers, education sessions, special offers and general beer appreciation and merriment. If we get even half of our list of proposed breweries then it will be something very exciting indeed, the likes of which Bristol will not have seen before. In fact, even with just those pencilled in so far as being “up for it” it will be excellent.
As well as Bristol (11-12 May), the festival has a new location this year on Albert Square in Manchester (8-9 June). Whatever happens in Bristol beer wise will be replicated in Manchester. Given the amazing Indy Man Beer Con that premiered last year, we have a lot to live up to.
Tickets are available for both events now and are £10 for Saturday, £7.50 for Sunday or £15 for both days. It’s a family orientated festival so bring those kiddies along and it’s on concrete so don’t worry about getting washed away by the rain (just come and drink beer undercover with me).