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January 04, 2007



Well done, and a good primer for non-Britons in the ueniuqly CAMRA and English way of presenting a range of real ales for tasting and discussion.First, there is the mighty selection. Second, some of the beers (or as I gathered) are dispensed straight from the cask, which adds a nuance to the hand-drawn way. Third, most of the beers, save of course the bottled ones, were served almost still-looking but of course retain a modest bubble, which favours digestibility and having more than one. Then too, one may remark the particularly English feel to the event, the quiet, leisurely atmosphere which favours good fellowship and conversation. Obviously, not all festivals are like that (or rather it may depend on the hour), but it is something characteristic of CAMRA events in my experience. The video reminded me strongly of the very first one I attended in London 25 years ago, the Pig's Ear, which is still going strong.The uniqueness of the CAMRA festival is quite noteworthy since I understand before these events started in the 1970's, nothing like it preceded them. I think they were, and are, a kind of combination of village fete; spacious pub; trade exhibition (was the English pub at the Brussels World Fair in the 1950's an influence?); and the German beer fest experience. In the end though it is a purely English phenomenon.Gary

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