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.
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).