|a piture of barbequed beer can chicken, for no other reason than a picture is needed for this post, and I don't have a relevant one|
We went to a festival one Saturday a couple of months ago. A festival that shall remain un-named, in an un-named suburb of an un-named town – just to protect any un-named people involved from embarrassment.
It sounded like a good idea; meet some friends in the afternoon, take the babies, potter around, get something nice to eat, drink some nice beer… because I thought it was fair enough to assume that, the way things are these days, there’d be a craft beer stall, or at least a number of bars. For the record, the food was good. Mrs Cake and I shared a couple of very nice fresh pizzas. But the drink; oh dear, oh dear.
“Is that the bar, over there?” said I to my friend Phil, as we crested a hill with our buggies and sought out something to drink.
The bar was quite large, and well-staffed with 9 or 10 servers. There was no one queuing for service though. I suppose it was only shortly after 2pm, and overall attendance at the festival seemed quite low. I put this down to the fact that it had been absolutely tipping it down for most of the day. As we approached the rope cordon for the bar though, it started to seem weird.
We barrelled on, and I offered a greeting to the 9 or 10 eager faces, willing to exchange alcoholic beverages for money. They explained that they had Amstel and Thatchers, and those didn’t interest me, but I noticed a pump with some artwork I hadn’t seen before and the name of an unfamiliar beer.
“A pint of this one, please” I said.
“Pint of Amstel?” said the barman.
At this point I realised that they had been telling me that all they had was Amstel and Thatchers, and nothing else.
“Oh, I don’t want Amstel,” I said turning to go, “So that’s why there’s no one ‘ere. Thanks anyway”.
Now, the funny thing is: I actually don’t mind Amstel, but I hadn’t come to a festival to drink it. In fact, for no reason other than we had been invited to the event by a beer enthusiastic food blogger, I had gotten it into my head that there would be interesting beers available, and I now realised this was not going to be the case. And rather than have a normal but perfectly acceptable Eurolager, I would have nothing.
Not strictly true, I suppose. Phil and I ended up going to the local Rhythm and Booze, and picking up a selection from there. In all fairness, what I got wasn’t much more interesting than Amstel, but they don’t tend to keep the most interesting beers in the fridge. So I got 4 cans of XJ Premium, which was ok, but at least it was also a Distinct Beer.
I suppose the moral of the story is, if you don’t like what’s on offer, you don’t have to have any. And if you’re putting on a festival, make some more interesting drinks available. It’s possible that I’m being too picky these days, expecting too much, but what’s the harm in that?