Something a bit different as I visited the 5th Great Radcliffe Beer festival. A bank holiday weekend event held at the Chestnut pub in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottingham. I went on day one, Friday.
A train ride from Donny, change at Sheffield, to Nottingham then a frequent bus service from the railway station to a stop almost directly opposite the pub - except I missed it and had to walk back from the next one.
I arrived just after 12 noon and met David, one of the gang I often go to beer festivals with. No Tony this time as he was in N Ireland looking at butterflies but Dave joined us about 1.40. We also had the company of Neil, one of David's local friends as he lives nearby.
The beers were varied, 24 over the weekend with St Austell Tribute the only regular remaining on the bar.
Bar, Stillage or 'Not available until Saturday' noted
Abbeydale 'Absolution' (5.5%), Sheffield (SAT)
Adnams 'Mosaic' (4.1%), Southwold (Still)
Ashover 'Citra' (4.1%), Derbyshire (Still)
Batemans 'XXXB' (4.5%), Wainfeleet (Bar)
Black Iris 'Snake Eyes' (3.6%), Nottingham (Bar)
Blue Monkey 'Infinity' (4.6%), Nottingham (Still)
Brewsters 'Hophead' (3.6%), Grantham (Still)
Catstle Rock 'Black Gold' (3.8%), Nottingham (Bar)
Crouch Vale 'Yakima Gold' (4.2%), Essex (Still)
Darkstar (American Pale' (4.7%), West Sussex
Elland '1872 Porter' (6.5%, Yorkshire (Still)
Frontier 'Helmsley IPA' (5.4%), Derby (Bar)
Great Heck 'Black Jesus' (6.5%), Yorkshire (Still)
Ludlow 'Gold' (4.5%), Shropshire (Still)
Ludlow 'Stairway' (5.0%), Shropshire (SAT)
Marble 'Pint' (3.9%), Manchester (SAT)
Oakham 'Bishops Farewell' (4.6%), Peterborough (SAT)
Pheasantry 'Bitter' (3.8%), Nottinghamshire (SAT)
Sarah Hughes 'Dark Ruby' (6.0%), Dudley (Still)
Salopian 'Lemon Dream' (4.5%), Shropshire (Still)
Thornbridge 'Crackendale' (5.2%), Bakewell (Still)
Tiny Rebel 'Fubar' (4.4%), S Wales (Still)
Totally Brewed '4 Hopmen' (5.2%), Nottingham (SAT)
Timothy Taylor 'Dark Mild' (3.5%), Keighley (SAT)
At least three ciders too, I think there were actually 5 on the bar but a I'm not a cider drinker I didn't look too closely
I had (in order of drinking) Black iris (3.0), Castle Rock (2.5), Ludlow Gold (2.0), Crouch Vale (2.0), Ashover (2.5), Brewsters (3.0) and Batemans (3.0) with my out of 5 scores in brackets. All perfectly drinkable but none quite perfect is how I'd describe them. I went mainly as they had Timmy Taylor's on, but then didn't as it wasn't ready. Last year they had an Ossett as well, but not this time. Elland and Great heck were represented although I'm not into strong dark beers. We decided that we'd go for pints and save too many trips to the bar. All festival beers were on at £3.40 a pint, not cheap and no discounts. The beer from the stillage was a bit warm, no cooling in use that I could see although they had jackets. From the handpumps was much better, but should be of course.
I also ate there, having my usual steak pie & chips. The pie was a bit over-done with more than crisp shortcrust pastry, not light to the bite as expected. It was a similar looking thing to the Marstons 'Generous George' range, a bit over 3 inch square and a couple of inches deep, all pastry covered and pinched edge top. The internal content was better than Marstons though, at least you could tell this was steak and it was chunky in places, not slush. Some of it was a bit hard where the portion had bene nuked in the kitchen. It came with three times dipped chips in a little bucket of their own, meaning there were not many, with some strips of carrot and garden peas. There was also a little pot of gravy, which I prefer rather than the plate being flooded when served.
We spent the afternoon discussing life in general, cricket, beer, barstaff, other beer festivals and illnesses. Both David and Neil were carrying oxygen tanks, although for different reasons. I'm a COPD sufferer myself but don't need oxygen - yet. We compared noted about struggling to do things, then went back to the beer to lubricate the throat when we got breathless.
I'm happy that I can still get about now and again, but what a lot of people don't see if that I have to push myself at times to get out there. With this particular trip I had a taxi from home to the station, was on the train then a bus outside the station direct to the pub. I had been resting for a good hour on the public transport so was about to walk a little, but was only too happy to collapse into a chair as soon as I got to the pub. I had been to a presentation night during the week but was far from 'OK'. The question in my mind is how much longer I can keep doing my Travels around. I'll keep doing them simply because I don't want to give up yet, there are still places to go and beer to be drunk.