It was a weekend of beer, more beer, cider, music and good times. I have to admit, I really enjoyed standing behind the bar for a change and serving up pints of ale and cider to the endless customers who flocked to the John Peel Centre in Stowmarket and drank those firkins dry.
The event started steadily on the Friday afternoon, with a few people coming straight from work to sample some of Suffolk’s finest ales and ciders. With four hours down at eight o’clock, the building was getting busy and people were flooding the floor (not literally). As this was the first beer festival where I’d served behind the bar, four hours seemed enough to me, because I wanted to try some of the beers myself, in preparation for my mates arriving the next day.
Late Saturday morning, I was sitting in the train station waiting for my university mates to arrive from Ipswich. I was doing a crossword in the beer festival program when their train arrived at around midday; we headed up to the John Peel Centre, just behind the town centre and next to the St Peter’s and St Mary’s Church. We must have spent a good four or five hours there, sampling the different beers and ultimately (although, not intentionally on my part) getting drunk.
In the late afternoon we went around the corner to a local pub, The Royal Oak, where we ate dinner and watched a Champions League football match, and there we stayed until their train back home at around eleven o’clock.
After assuring that my mates got on the train back to our student flat, I returned to the beer festival which was winding down to a close. I may have missed the main entertainment for the night (musicians and comedy acts), but there were still a few pints of beer left… a truly enjoyable weekend.