Seeing as there have been two blog posts about beer in Woking recently I supposed I'd better pull my finger out and report on this year's beer festival. Despite suffering from senile lightweightism I managed to end up at every session this year: working, judging and just plain drinking.
I've taken to volunteering to work on Friday night as I've enjoyed the festival since it started so I felt ought to give a bit back. The work isn't really hard, but coming at the end of the week and after I'd already done a day's work I must confess my brain was a little slow at times. I didn't drink much as I was driving but a half of Harvey's Old went down well during my break.
On Saturday lunchtime I was back for judging. It was for the South East region ordinary Bitter category. Not the sort of thing you often see beer geeks rave about but if done well they can be very good. And seeing as they'd got through to the final most of these were.
The judging was run in a very professional manner, and panel were almost unanimous in the choice of Alton's Pride as the winner. I was actually the exception, as I'd scored that one second, preferring Tring's entry, but they were both great beers.
Then in the evening I was back as a punter. This time my choice for beer of the festival Thurston's Horsell Hop did win when CAMRA tallied the votes. Admittedly I may have been a bit biased as I'd helped pick the hops.
But there really is something special about using fresh hops and it seems a lot of other people thought so too.