It’s a wonderful source of B-complex vitamins, still defined as a staple food in Bavaria and was available in over 90 varieties at the Drill Hall in Lincoln over the weekend. Aussie Emma O’Neill discovers a thing or two about British beer.
I love festivals and I love beer. So there was no way I was going to miss the Lincoln Beer Festival. After a gloriously sunny Thursday I headed towards Lincoln Drill Hall, excited about quenching my thirst with real ale I hadn’t heard of. Once I’d got my wristband and commemorative glassI raced toward the bar (which was stationed in front of an impressive wall of kegs) and grabbed the beer list. I was ready to drink.
However, as I looked through the impressive list of more than 90 real ales I quickly realised that this festival wasn’t the type to give aT-shirt to punters who could drink pints of 50+ varieties in under three-minutes. This was a festival that took its beer seriously. There was a Scottish variety of ale described as having ‘a floral aroma and spicy taste’ thanks to the addition of heather flowers, and a Lincolnshire brew listed as ‘a complex mix of coffee, hops, caramel and apple’.
For an Australian used to skulling down tinnies on a hot summer’s day and whose country reveres David Boon – an Australian cricketer who consumed 52 cans of full strength beer during a flight between London and Sydney for the 1989 Ashes series – such refinement in the art of drinking and enjoying beer was a refreshing change.
I was expecting raucous lads pouring beer over each other; instead there was a man playing a baby grand piano to festivalgoers sitting quietly and swapping comments about their palate and favourite pint. I was expecting bar tenders who couldn’t understand your order; instead they were CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) volunteers passionately representing their organisation which tirelessly campaigns for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights. Their passion and smiles were infectious and filled the festival with a warm, inviting atmosphere.
I don’t know if Australians like David Boon would be allowed to join CAMRA, but after experiencing such a wonderful festival and sipping on some seriously tasty ales I’m supporting their cause; and I’m definitely keeping my festival pint glass in a safe place ready for next year!
For more information about the Lincoln Beer Festival 2012 go to:
For more information about CAMRA go to: