View Full Version : Oxford Festival

10-18-2004, 11:20 AM
THis one looks great:


Look at the beer list. Once again I am envious of our bretheren across the pond. My mouth is watering.

Any of you going?

Richard English
10-18-2004, 01:39 PM
Sadly I am working in London so can't make it.

Interesting selection of beers, though. Almost all from micro-breweries with only Adnams and Lees having anything like national coverage. I have drunk very few of those listed.

10-18-2004, 02:40 PM
Me neither, but I will be getting the chance. As I'm drinking in halves, I suppose I'll be limited to about 20 beers (before you say anything, most of them will be milds!); I'll have to make a plan before I go. I know that Asahikun is going too. I can't actually think of any more UK residents who'd be able to go.

10-18-2004, 02:43 PM
Jealous, me? Not a bit of it.

Where's the emoticon for steam coming out of the ears?

10-18-2004, 05:17 PM
This used to be the one for water out of the ears:


10-18-2004, 05:20 PM
I suppose steam would be:


(Apparently I'm not allowed more than one smilie in a post...)

10-20-2004, 07:36 PM
You think that's a good list, have a look at the list for Nottingham, which is on at the same time.
In my opinion, Nottingham is the best beer fest in the UK bar none. Sadly, as I'm going on holiday next week and have a lot of work to finish off, I can't go to Oxford or Nottingham this year.

Richard English
10-21-2004, 01:05 AM
Too many to count although last year they had 370.

I suspect that means fewer than the GBBF - but still a creditable number for a smallish town.

10-21-2004, 02:32 AM
OK, respect to the Nottingham festival; that's where I'm headed next year, anyway.

Where is Nottingham?

10-21-2004, 08:59 AM
I would be happy to attend either one.

10-21-2004, 06:29 PM
Well, fair's fair. We in the UK have to put up with abysmal homebrewing supplies and widespread beer apathy and have to watch whilst you in the US have homebrewing workshops, conventions and beer clubs.

Richard English
10-22-2004, 12:35 AM
I suspect that the fall in popularirty of home-brewing parallels the rise in availability of bottle-conditioned beers. Certainly the supplies of equipment and materials are far less easy to get nowadays and I feel sure that, it the demand were there, the likes of Boot's would still stock them.

As regards beer apathy, I can olny agree. Last night I was enjoying a couple of pints of Bombardiar and discussing the world with some others. One girl was holding forth on English pride and complaining that we don't recognise our country's achievements (unlike the Scots, Welsh and Irish we don't celebrate our Saint's Day and pubs can't get an extension for St George's day - though thay can for St Patrick's).

As she was holding forth she was drinking unspeakable San Miguel from the bottle. When I challenged her she said she didn't like bitter (although she'd never tried it) and that the San Miguel was on offer - two for the price of one. And she was drinking it from the bottle because drinking from a glass wasn't "cool"!

And so is was, two 330 ml bottles for 2.80. My Bombardier was 2.60 for an Imperial pint (568 ml). So even at half price the chemical fizz was still about the same price as the excellent Bombardier. What can you do?

10-22-2004, 08:44 AM
I'd suggest a few months of therapy involving some sort of electrical apparatus and a hammer.

Did you hear on the news yesterday that one of the London councils is trying to get Wetherspoons to raise its prices to combat drunkenness? Show me the hooligan who gets drunk on good real ale and I'll hand in my protest-trousers and go home.

Richard English
10-22-2004, 01:04 PM
I didn't. It dounds like the daft sort of thing that Brent would do.

When Whetherspoons were about to open in Redhill there was a press campaign (probably orchestrated by the existing pubs) to stop them on the grounds of drunkenness. I wrote a letter to the local paper poo-pooing the idea and they opened and there has never been any trouble there (but plenty in the nearby football and loud music fizz-house)!

10-22-2004, 01:25 PM

I am officialy adopting "fizz house" as my term of derision for all taverns with an unacceptable selection of beer, even though I can not use it as intended in that cask is so rare over here. Still it rolls of the tongue rather nicely. "Oh I'm not going to the Lucky Bar it's a right fizz house"

10-22-2004, 01:46 PM
Are you going to copyright the term and charge royalties like Concrete Blonde is trying to do with "Paint Store"? :D

It has been quite a long time since I had any fizz in the UK.

Richard English
10-23-2004, 04:02 AM
Quote "...I am officialy adopting "fizz house" as my term of derision for all taverns with an unacceptable selection of beer..."

Actually this is a very good idea if we can get anything like a substantial number to use it. Image is important to many people and those kinds of people drink chemical fizz because of its image, not its taste. Which is why all the chemical fizz manufacturers promote their rubbish on the basis of its image and supposed lifestyle advantages, not on its taste.

If we can get substantial numbers to talk about fizz-houses, chemical fizz, kids' drinks - and similar derogatory terms then it might just make a difference.

Remember, CAMRA itself did this. When CAMRA started the term "Real Ale" did not exist. Beer was beer and lager was the new smart drink. Cask-conditioned beer was old and boring. So they invented the term Real Ale do suggest, by implication, that the other styles were not real and thus not good.

I frequently ask people, "...Do you want a proper drink or do you want chemical fizz...?" It often shames people into trying a good beer and, almost invariably, there is the look of surprise on the person's face, and the comment, "...Oh, it's actually rather good...!" As Stevah will confirm was the case when I persuaded those young ladies at Goose Island brewery to try a glass of Goose Island's excellent cask-conditioned ale.

10-23-2004, 07:28 AM
Which is why all the chemical fizz manufacturers promote their rubbish on the basis of its image and supposed lifestyle advantages, not on its taste
You're forgetting the ludicrous new Fosters adverts, which have the catchphrase: 'Specially brewed to taste better cold'. Noone can understand why I laugh at them...

Richard English
10-23-2004, 02:28 PM
As it happens I haven't seen the new Foster's advertisements. I do recall their earlier ones though, with Paul Hogan talking about the "Amber Nectar". Good advertisements; foul beer.

10-24-2004, 08:44 AM
Back on topic: I went to the festival last night.

Unfortunately, it was too popular this year and almost every single beer had run out :(. I did manage to get a pint of Hobgoblin in, but couldn't find any of my beloved milds. My friend and I ended up at the imported beer table sipping Samichlaus and chatting to the Belgian guy serving the beers.

The night wasn't a total loss (though after a bottle of Samichlaus I felt it was time for bed already!), as we then sloped off to the Turf Tavern, where there were 7 ales on tap. I also managed to net a bottle of Sami and a bottle of St. Bernardus 12 to take home with me.

Here's to going slightly earlier next year...

10-24-2004, 09:46 AM
I have not had Samichlaus in a number of years. One of my buddies was born on December 6 so he usually gets a bottle for his B-day.