Having enjoyed many CAMRA beer festivals over the years I decided it was about time I did a bit to help out, so I volunteered to work a shift at my local festival. What with work being work, and Friday traffic also doing its usual stuff I was running a bit late so ended up driving there. Despite the obvious drawback to this it worked out rather well in the end, but more on that later...
On arrival you get given a sponsored T shirt and a voucher for a burger. There was a brief team talk about what we needed to do, and we were told the very reasonable rate at which we could buy beer ourselves. Had I not been driving it would have been a cheap way to get pissed, though I don't suppose it would have helped my adding up, and there wasn't much time for drinking anyway.
The first punters started pouring in at 6pm, and some of them were certainly very dedicated as I'm sure some had googly eyes by seven. Most of the bar work I've done has been at festivals like Reading or Glastonbury, and though the bar did get busy at times it was a walk in the park compared to them. The customers all seemed good natured, and even the disappointment of time being called didn't upset those who'd not had the wit about them to get a beer in at last orders. I've only even seen one person being bounced from a CAMRA festival, though I did hear an ex-boss of mine managed to get herself booted out of Woking one year. She was one of the most unpleasant people I've ever met though so I dare say she was asking for it.
Once the punters have all gone there's time for staff to get some more beers in but I was heading home. I gave a couple of fellow workers a lift back, which lead to what I believe could well be the high point of my life. In the general chit-chat I mentioned I was off to the States next year, and hoped I could find the John fucking Kimmich beer. "I've got some of that in the cupboard, you can have a can" piped up one of my passengers. "It was alright" the other chipped in. You could have knocked me down with a feather at this point. Except as I was driving I was sitting down. Could the holy grail of craft ale really be within my grasp soon? As it happens, it could:
It's my birthday next weekend so I'm saving it for then, which also gives me time to go on a spiritual retreat and purify my body, mind and soul so I'm in a fit state for the momentous tasting.