“You don’t want to go there, they talk funny and it always rains”. These wise words about Manchester from my Uncle Mike have stood me in good stead and I’ve seldom been. In fact the last time I visited was for an old comrade’s funeral, which didn’t do anything to endear the place to me.
But as work was sending me there for BevExpo I thought I’d make the best of an unfortunate situation and see if I could get any research in. Fortunately for me where I was staying was close to where Phil lived. He was one of the beer bloggers I most wanted to meet so I was delighted when he agreed to join me for a beer or two*.
We met at the Marble Beer House, a spin off from the Marble Arch. It was more a bar than a pub, but never mind, it was a nice enough place. I mostly stuck to the session bitter, Draught. We had a wide ranging conversation going from what happens when you blog that you’re not going to a beer festival though to spies we’ve met and the EFICC. We did have a brief foray into Earl Grey IPA, but I found the orange flavour a bit too much so I was soon back on the bitter.
After the first day the trade show had an official evening event at a Bavarian and Bohemian themed bar the Alberts Schloss. Not being overly enamoured of German lager I tried the Pilsner Urquell from the tank, but there was way too much diacetyl. Whether they lager the beer for tanks less or if there was an infection somewhere I couldn’t say** but I soon switched to my usual German fall back, wheat beer.
There was a pop-oompah (or something like that) playing, which was different. As was the food, which consisted entirely of trays of nibbles being brought round. I dare say I’d eaten ample by the time we left but I’d have preferred a proper meal rather than having to forage for food.
On the second day of the trade show I had to give a talk...at the same time England were playing Wales. Still, the small but select bunch that attended seemed to find it useful. Soon after that my work was done and it was time to head to the Lakes for some hill based heroism (which turned out to be gibbering up a couple of VSs, but I was a bit out of practice).
* Exact number of beers consumed my have been slightly higher.
** Though if I’d been able to measure the diacetyl to 2,3 pentanedione ratio I could have.