Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Blandford Railway Beer Festival

On a cold, wet and windy Bank Holiday Monday (what else would you expect for a Public Holiday!!), we set off for the bus to Blandford, and the Railway Hotel’s 3rd Beer Festival.. Bearing in mind, we had arrived back in Blighty the previous day, after some serious campaigning in Prague, (we would write it up but after sampling absinth and a strange concoction made with mead and honey none of us can remember! ED) hence only a few of us made the trip!!

On arrival at the Railway, we headed into the skittle room where the bar had been set up and was showcasing an impressive range of 40+ beers and ciders from Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and the Channel Islands. Ah decisions, decisions—where to start !!

Always taking the sensible option (no sniggering Ed!!), I began the day with a lovely Keltek 4K Mild, and we went to take refuge in the main bar, hiding from the rain !! We managed to find a seat and began to peruse the festival programme. A great selection with several different styles and strengths to suit all tastes. The ones I sampled were Abbey Ales Mild, Blackawton 44 Special, Otter Bright, St. Austell Black Prince, and South Hams Porter (A quiet day out then?? ED). It was also great to see Badger’s nettle beer Stinger in cask, normally this is only available in bottles, so we had to have a taste. If all goes to plan, we’re hoping to have this on at Poole Beer Festival, so hopefully you can all have a try too!!
If you have never ventured into The Railway you should, they usually have a range of four interesting ales, they also have a selection of screens where you can often watch more than one of the big sporting events, and they have an interpub quiz going on all day, just pick up a handset from a table and join in! Hence it attracts a wide clientele and is popular into the wee hours of the day. When we were there, it coinciding with Blandford’s Georgian Fair the pub was buzzing, even attracting a few Morris dancers. After performing earlier, they decided to wind down over several beers.

Being reliant on public transport (and making sure we allowed enough time to get back to the bus stop, one step forward, 2 steps back, you know the scenario!!) we sadly only had a few hours at the festival. Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to spend a little more time there, and not have to cut the afternoon off so sharply.

I thoroughly recommend an outing here if you get the chance next year. It always coincides with May Day Bank Holiday, so put the date in your diary folks! But, find time to pop in at other times as well, for example we meet there 29th June! If you are lucky enough to live nearby, the pub also stays open until the last person stops drinking !!

Many thanks to Nigel, family and staff for organising another great festival


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