Stockport beer fest impressions

Anyone like to comment on Edgeley Park as a venue - I cant decide !!
On the one hand it is fantastic to get your beer and sit out in the stand and gaze at the pitch, the Stocky landmarks and the Peninnes and listen to the barber shop sextet !
On the other the service area is long and narrow and it's difficult to get to the middle of the serving area so ended up drinking mostly beers from the end of the alphabet !. Didnt get a chance to sample the food.
The beers for £1 a pint until 8pm was a nice innovation - squeezed two in !
Also as a traditional northener I was "disappointed" by the lack of any beers on the handpumps (that I could see) giving the option of a tight sparkler and creamy head.
Also there seemed to be more than the usual number of beers "not" on offer - preventing last session run-out I presume.
Actually the best pint of the night was afterwards in the Olde Vic - Moorhouses Blonde Witch (with a creamy head of course! :-)
-- JohnB
Reply to
JohnB

As a venue itself, it is great. Increased capacity but no problem finding seating and separate rooms for food and entertainment are all useful bonuses. Beer is also a lot cooler than it ever was in the Town Hall. The main area does get crowded but this seems to be because people insist on congregating there, rather than spreading out. I also wish they had handpumps but Stockport have never been big on them for some reason. There were a lot of complaints about not all the beer being on. If they were holding them all back, it was a serious mistake.
Reply to
Alex
Yep - me and the lads are heading back to the Vic this week for a longer session on it - fingers crossed still on.
-- JohnB
Reply to
JohnB
Beer availability is controlled so that there is a reasonable selection available at every sessions.
To my mind that is a lot fairer (and is likely to ensure much better quality in the later sessions) than putting everything on as soon as the festival opens and then devil take the hindmost...
Record sales this year show that the punters are voting with their feet - and their throats.
And the fact that there was enough beer to allow serving until 11 pm on Saturday (unlike last year) is a major plus point.
Reply to
PeterE

Why is it fairer? It's just different and frankly, annoying. If you ordered enough beer in the first place, you'd have enough for Saturday night. I know last year you were caught short, but Stockport always seem to have this policy regardless. As I say, I like the venue and the streaker was a novelty but the beer policy is seriously misguided.
Reply to
Alex
Hi Peter
I am no expert on beer longevity etc...
But why can't every barrel that is behind the bar be tapped and servable from the minute the doors open ? Surely the beer will keep for the 48 hours - or so does the quality go down that much.
As to "fairer" well that's debatable (assuming there are no quality issues) doesnt the policy just mean that each day is in essence a different fesival ? Thus, it would be good to display in advance what beers will be available at each session - to allow punters to choose a favoured session.
However, as I would predict that most punters are only able to attend one or two sessions and that they are likely to be dictated by personal circumstances (I can't do weekends for example) I would say it was "fairer" to have all beers on from the first session.
However, overall, it's not a big issue as the number of beers available that the average punter hasn't tried previously or has and likes, far exceeds said individual's capacity in a session ! Just disappoints when your favourite tipple is sitting there - unattainable !
But nice to hear that there was a good supply left for the "lucky" Saturday evening punters.
On balance though I do like the venue - but missed the streaker - male or female ?
Cheers -- JohnB
Reply to
JohnB
See
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Usually updated live at the end of the day Due to not arriving home until 2am Friday nights update was not posted this year! No dedication to duty :-(
Reply to
David Hanson
In a beer festival (which is not a temperature-controlled environment) a beer that is tapped on Thursday afternoon will be pretty tired by Saturday.
Well, if you put all the beers on from the start, you discriminate against the Saturday people in favour of the Thursday ones. Or you have fewer beers, but two or more casks of each, which rather negates the point of a beer festival.
But that discriminates against punters at later sessions who will have a more limited range. As you say, for most people, there will be far more beers they haven't tried than they are able to drink, so everyone will have a sufficiently wide range to choose from.
The only people who benefit from the "everything on from the start" approach are tickers.
Reply to
PeterE

Or those of us who, due to CAMRA business, could only attend on Thursday. Other festivals seem to do just fine. Why you continue with such an unpopular policy is baffling. More substance and less smoke and mirrors I suggest.
Reply to
Alex
You say this policy is misguided because you don't understand it.
First, beer that is tapped during setup won't last until the end of the festival - one beer festival lost thousands of pounds because the organisers tapped every barrel at the start.
Second, those who visit the festival later will suffer because, even if beer is still drinkable, some beers are bound to have been finished by the time they get there.
Regards, Colin Mills
Reply to
Colin_Mills
None of this matters a scrap to the tickers whose priorities have nothing to do with taste, quality, or fairness to anyone else who attends a festival.
John B
Reply to
JohnB

I described it as misguided because I understand it all too well. It's your festival, so you are entitled to run it as you like. However, don't try and justify it in practical terms, please.
Really? I'd like details-how many beers over what period? If that was an absolute, every other festival would do the same. The fact is, there are plenty of festivals who have been successfully running longer than Stockport who seem to manage fine. Or are you saying they're not up to scratch?
And? That is logical and understandable. As has been said, it's not any fairer than depriving people early on. The diifference is that your scheme is unecessarily unpopular.
Reply to
Alex
In article ,
Yes, really. I happen to know the guy that organised one such festival. The beer was absolutely fine on the first session for the few people that were there, less so later and then later still people didn't feel like drinking it on account of it having lost condition.
IIRC about 80 beers over a three (four?) day festival.
Festival organisers are *advised* not to breach all casks at the start and plan to phase in beers through the festival by bringing each to correct condition at different times. This isn't always possible and the beers sometimes come on later than planned
I'm sure people could point to less than par beer at festivals - I seem to recall one of the Pickthall contributors doing just that. Care to ask him why he thinks the beer wasn't at its best? Go on, accuse him of defending CAMRA.
Reply to
Steven Pampling
If a festival has been open since Thursday, if I attended on the Saturday night I would certainly expect to find a more limited choice.
Reply to
Chris de Cordova

I never doubted it happened, just the reasons for it. I've been to many festivals where the beer has been poor throughout-too warm and flat, for example. Nothing whatsoever to do with putting the beer on too early. If it was purely an issue of quality, then by your scenario, Stockport should always have excellent beer on. When they didn't. Certainly at their previous festivals, the beers were handicapped by the limitations of the venue.
But then a lot of the "advice" given is not very helpful. Luckily, some people know what they are doing.
That will be the day:) I just don't think you have justified Stockport holding beers back for a 2.5 days festival. If it was purely about quality, I could agree. But it isn't...
Reply to
Alex
Alex:
Nothing you say convinces me you understand at all.
In fact, I'm not involved at all with the Stockport Festival.
Why on earth shouldn't a beer festival policy be justified in practical terms? This is a bigoted response.
Colin Mills
Reply to
Colin_Mills
Well, as far as I'm concerned there are very sound practical reasons:
(a) to reduce financial risk by ensuring that, in the event of disappointing attendance, the festival is not left with large quantities of beer in tapped casks that cannot be sold on, (b) to maintain quality - at a beer festival, with beer stored at ambient temperature, a cask that is tapped on the Thursday will be very tired by Saturday evening, and (c) to ensure that a reasonable choice of beers and beer styles is available to customers at every session
The main downside is that some tickers miss out on a few ticks :p
Reply to
PeterE

Are you being deliberately obtuse here? Read my comments again in their entirety. Perhaps I should have said "justify it in terms of practicality." Meaning, I don't believe you can justify this policy merely by the excuses you have given-qualty control etc. It is merely done to maintain appearances. In what way is this a bigoted response?
Reply to
Alex

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