Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ale Tales

Having a partner in an industry connected however loosely to an industry that involves alcohol has its uses at times, namely, complimentary tickets to the Sponsors' Bash the night before the Falmouth Beer Festival opens. This means, lest it is unclear, FREE BEER. Right up to half nine, when the serious drinkers are distinguished from the hangers on as half go back to the bar and the other half mysteriously vanish (slightly unsteadily) into the night.

Having wondered on previous years why the beer is often all gone on the second night of the (three-day) festival, the hitherto unsuspected existance of this event goes a long way to explaining things. It was shoulder-to-shoulder packed. We were given half-pint tasting glasses, and let loose on the full range. Felt rather odd at first, just going up and asking for a drink that you then didn't pay for. Naturally, we soon got used to it. Free drinks for designated drivers too, which was a good idea.

To identify us from urchins that might wander in off the street, we were given laminated passes on a bit of cotton. This turned out to be very badly tied cotton, as mine promptly fell off and fluttered to the floor. All through the evening you'd hear a sudden annoyed cry and a head would disappear to floor level as yet another pass made a bid for freedom.

Best beer name should, I feel, go to Fox's Nob, although had I been a cider girl it would have gone to Badger's Arse. Despite trying beers from the length and breadth of the country, I still felt that the best ones were Cornish, from the Skinners and Sharp's breweries. We might not be able to do tin or fish any more but by golly we can do beer.

We went along the next day (Friday) too, for the official first day, and thought it was surprisingly quiet compared to the night before. This is of course a good thing, as you don't have to tread on so many people to get to the bar. Finding that high-heeled boots mean you don't get overlooked, and pigtails mean large men with beards let you go in front of them. It's good to have a plan, admittedly one that perhaps wouldn't work for everyone...

Entertainment was provided by the printed programme, as we sat and corrected all the punctuation. Who says we don't know how to have a good time?


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