It was that time of year again, as JD Wetherspoon rolled out their annual International Real Ale 'Festival'.
The nineteen days certainly gave you an opportunity to try beers, not normally available down the local 'Spoons'. Or indeed, at most boozers.
OK, the chain has its detractors amongst real ale drinkers. However, I aint one of them. Although, I do have the occasional 'pop' at 'em, from time to time !
My visit, as always, was an interesting one. Ah, the tapestry of life within these walls is quite enlightening. Although, you could say there are a few who frequent the place, represent tattered remnants!
There was a good selection on my first visit, ten casks on offer, as I plumped for the Robinson's Hoptimus. Excellent beverage. A fruity, malty brew, with a long, dry aftertaste.
The festival gives you the opportunity to sample three ales in one third pint glasses. All for the price of a festival pint. A good way to introduce a friend to the delights of real beer!
The second visit had cause for much celebration. As I had requested a brew off the festival list some days before, in the hope of a favourite stout being available.
I walked in, swerved one or two baby buggies and reached my destination, to find the 'Belhaven Black' Scottish Stout on the bar. Happy days, request granted!
The stout is exceptional. Smooth, strong coffee flavour and just a hint of liquorice. Superbly balanced ale, from the East Lothian brewer.
It was somewhat ironic, that there was a guy at the bar supping Guinness. I refrained from making a comment on the Scottish nectar, as he was staring at me a bit strange!
It slid down a treat in the spring sunshine. Although, I was not too impressed with the uncouth geezer farting on the next table! Obviously one of the tattered remnants of society, I had referred to earlier!
That said, Wetherspoons( Boot Inn, Burnley) had put on a fine festival. Good choice to suit all tastes. Just £2.15 a pint. The service is always excellent here. Ever polite and helpful. The manager runs a good ship.
Oh, I almost forgot, the CAMRA 50p voucher can be used. However, I will not make further comment on that much maligned subject!