There is a common misconception in America that the Brits drink warm beer. I know that is not true as Brits drink warm Ale. Well, that's not true either as British beer is only slightly warmer that what US brews are SUPPOSED to be. Thanks to some American national blands the beer we drink can make an ice cube feel warm. British beer is splendid the way it is and the flavor is what make the beer. Having said that, British beer does have a major problem: British Summer Time. Although unaffected by the turning of the hands of the clock it does not sit well in a cellar when the outside temperature is in three digits. I have been to London several times in August (I prefer spring or fall) and some beers were downright sour. Some pubs with air-conditioned cellars but those without were problematic. One never knew until it was too late.
I was overjoyed to attend the GBBF one summer but I paid a heavy price. My hotel does not have air-conditioning so I was never able to dry off. The tube to Olympia was stopped and so was the cooling. After ten minutes I would have sold my soul for an ice cold Coors. Yes, I was that desperate. But the hall was cool and none of the beers were bad. All in all I had a great time and made drinking buddies. We even sang a few on the train back. But it was still hot.
Over the past few years I was delighted to be able to attend and work the London Drinker Beer Festival. Not only is it walking distance to my hotel but is held in the civilized month of March. I do hope it will take place in 2010 as the hall may be sold. Good luck to North London branch of CAMRA. I will be having a cold one over here for you guys.
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