Thursday 6th July 2017
Davd's Yard by Guildhall
Beerfests can be great fun, provided the beer, the organisation and company is good. The City of London puts on some of the best events in the country; our Learned Clerk was there with Elise and Will Rasmussen and Alan Begg and some of England’s best craft breweries were offering their products while the Worshipful Company of Brewers was in charge. The City Beerfest was, indeed, great fun.
The Beerfest opened at lunch time but I arrived on a hot humid afternoon at 3pm to be greeted by our Chaplain, David Parrott. The event was taking place in David’s yard. There was a slight Womad feel to David’s Yard with an excellent new band, Nerja, playing a fusion of jazz, South African township music and Latin themes. £15 gets you a commemorative half pint glass and four beer tokens. The Yard had 15 beer stalls set up by a range of breweries. Beer was dispensed by a combination methods: cask tap, hand pump, bottles and, in some instances, by carbon dioxide through a chiller. My first stop was a half of Theakston’s Best Bitter, followed a little too swiftly by a half of Meantime’s tasty London Pale Ale. The conversation was convivial and eventually chairs were secured in the shade of the West Wing of Guildhall by SLJ. It was nice to meet up with a former colleague, Rob Burton, who had been brought along by Elise.
Towards 5pm when office workers descended on David’s Yard, the queues for the stalls grew and it wasn’t long before the first stall ran out. The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor arrived with a brace of Sheriffs soon after 5:30pm. I was now on my second set of beer tokens, having made friends with the delightful folk from Hepworth & Co based in Horsham. Their range of gluten free organic ales made the whole experience feel like a trip to a health farm. The Lord Mayor urged us to drink more beer and buy more raffle tickets in favour of his charities. As the temperature and humidity rose, the Lord Mayor and his Sheriffs posed patiently in their heavy woollen red robes as folk took selfies and posted to social media.
Signs of a sufficiency of ale can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. The purchase of a large sausage and sage roll was a reminder to me that it might be time to head home. Hepworth’s had run out of ale but they let me have their last half pint out of their last barrel for free. More stalls had closed and the queues for the remaining stalls got longer. It was almost 7pm and I think I had had the best of the day. I returned to the Barbican to digest my sausage roll. Cheers!