6 February 2010 (Saturday) - Dover Beer Festival

I couldn’t sleep – probably the excitement of anticipation. Dover Beer Festival is one of the year’s highlights – last year coming in at position #5 against some pretty stiff competition. So I was up and ironing at 5.30am, and had watched three episodes of BattleStar Galactica before I finally kicked my beloved out of her pit.

A quick bit of brekky whilst checking the Internet. A quick visit to YoVille – I seem to be spending more time there than in NeverWinter these days. Probably because I get kissed more in YoVille.

Two days ago I mentioned about the rather nasty messages the webmaster of Beer in the Evening had been posting in the private forum of their web site. This morning I see that the chap has deleted the entire private forum. What a way to run a website.... they are utterly dependent on the good will of others to do endless unpaid work for them. And rather than thanking them, they insult their unpaid workers.

And talking of beer, to Dover Beer Festival. After a bit of fiddling about with trains, eight of us joined the queue outside the Maison Dieu in Dover. Attendance was noticeably down this year with a noticeable absence of the “Eurostar regulars” that I only ever meet once a year.

The plan was to only have a couple of beers and swiftly move on. As I have remarked before God laughs when we make plans. We started off sensibly enough on Larkin’s Porter. But then the silly names kicked in, and a half of “hung, drawn and portered” got guzzeled, followed swiftly by some “Dark Galleon” and some “Old Grumpy Porter”. A half of each was two pints, and I was ready to move on, but everyone else was still on their second ale. So I got some more tokens. “Grandma’s Rich Porter slipped down very well, followed swiftly by “Old Stoatwobbler” and “St Mary’s Stout”. And then a “Belgian Double” which had both a saucy name and an 8% ABV.

And so, having had far too much to drink we left the festival. A breakfast roll at the station, and so to Folkestone where we suddenly realised how thirsty we were, and so popped into the Park Gate Hotel for a crafty half. We soon downed that, and wasted a few minutes playing silly beggars with the mobility scooter that was parked outside before wandering off.

We climbed walls, waved bottoms at passing cars and generally scared the normal people all the way to “the Lifeboat” where we set about more beer and some food. More beer and food is always good, especially when the pub is giving out free leek soup. And we cheered the England team as they played rugby. Or that is, most of our party cheered the England team. I cheered the chap in the blue kit. There were fifteen in white, fifteen in red and only one in blue. And he was charging all over the place too. What the blue team lacked in numbers, they made up for in enthusiasm.

Three pints later we staggered round to the East Cliff Tavern where we played darts and piano, though not at the same time, and after a few more beers we staggered off to get the 10pm train home.

I suspect I shall have a headache in the morning…

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