We were delighted to see many old friends down there, and many who help at Cambridge Beer Fest were pulling pints down there too. We ran into Eric and Wiggie from the Ely branch and set about sampling many of the 450 beers on show. I was impressed by the fact the glasses were marked with a 1/3 pint line so you could actually try more beers than normal. I loved the mix of micro and well established beers and the variety of food was brilliant. My only minor complaint about the Cambridge Festival is the absence of the wonderful German sausages we used to have. The excuse given that they have to open a can of 50 and fear they will not all sell does not wash with me - goodness, we are the third largest in the country!

There were individual stands run by the breweries. On the Greene King stand they were giving away St George flag style caps, whilst at the Marston's stand we were each given a wonderful cricket style floppy hat that had the England crest and proclaimed their sponsorship of English cricket. A trip with the boys always seems to include bumping in to a celebrity. This time it was Robin Smith, former captain of Hampshire and England opening bat. He regaled us with some wonderful tales and signed our hats for us.

The beers were all in fine condition and after around 5 hours tasting we headed for Brick Lane for a curry all washed down with a couple of pints of London Pride in the Pride of Spitalfield pub near Liverpool Street station. A great day out, and by the time you read this we will have been to Peterborough, so the three largest beer festivals will have been covered.

Jerry Brown
P.S. The 2007 Champion Beers of Britain were, as usual, announced at the Festival.

Supreme Champion (and Best Mild) was Hobsons Mild from Shropshire. Second place (and Best Golden Ale) was Mighty Oak Maldon Gold (Essex) and in third was Green Jack Ripper, which was also champion Winter Ale earlier in the year. Other East Anglian successes were Nethergate Umbel Magna (champion speciality beer), St Peters Grapefruit (third in the same category) and Nethergate Suffolk County (third in the best bitters).