Yesterday, I went into Manchester. There were several beer festivals, namely, the CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival and the one at the Smithfield. Red Rat was available, as well as beers from Bank Top. It is worth mentioning that Smithfield festival was admission free.
My experiences at the Winter Ales festival were rather mixed. There were a few people worth talking, but there were too many students at the event. They were sprawled all over the floor in the hall downstairs. One young Cockney chap even attempted to steal my glass.
Students paid less for admission than I did myself. Price discrimination is frankly unjustified. In fact, considering the price of the beers, even an admission fee was unjustified. The stewards were particularly unhelpful too.
To hark back, most beers appeared overpriced, particularly the foreign ales, despite that there were no fruit beers on draught. I find £3.20 per pint to be rather excessive. It is a shame that CAMRA do not endorse a fair pricing policy. However, Otley brewery had their O8 available; needless to say that it is an 8% percent beer. O8 and good conversation made the Winter Ales festival a worthwhile visit.