Obsessive beer nerd that I am I wouldn't normally go to the same lecture twice. But when I was invited to hear Ron Pattinson talk about stock ales in London I couldn't say no, despite having already heard him give that talk in Amsterdam. It just combined too many of my interests: history, Brettanomyces, and free beer.
I had high hopes about the last one. This event was being run by Goose Island (ABInBev), and their marketing budget easily covers providing enough free beer to make me regret it in the morning. In fact the budget clearly stretches considerable further than that, as they'd flown over a brewer from Chicago again, and Ron got to go over there himself, as well as visit London.
There's definitely something to be said for big breweries with big budgets. It's amazing to see the amount of effort that went into making this beer, and no way are they going to get their costs back from the amount of beer they have to sell.
I'm not going to go into more detail about the beer, as I did that back in July, and anyway, Bryan and Martyn have already written up the night. I will say I had a cracking time though. Long may breweries with big budgets put great efforts into re-creating historic beers, and giving me free samples!