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Missing the fun?

It’s the Reading Beer and Cider Festival this weekend – hundreds of beers and ciders available to try.  Unfortunately, for various reasons, we are not going to be able to get there.  But, do you know what?  I’m not really bothered about missing it.  I don’t find beer festivals to be the most conducive of environments to enjoy beer.  Yes, they offer the opportunity to try some beers that you might otherwise not see, but the approach of most people seems to be to get through as much beer as possible, or at least as many different types as possible.  I don’t think that beer drinking should be an end in itself – it is something that accompanies other activities – socialising in a pub, eating a meal, watching TV, etc.  Having my drinking arm jostled in a crowded sweaty marquee and queueing for hours to get a pint of the beer you want to try is not my idea of a good night out.

I much prefer events such as the Reading Real Ale and Jazz that is held every July just the other side of the Thames.  Okay, so there are only about 30 beers on offer – many of them local to the area, but the enjoyment of the beer is enhanced by the enjoyment of the jazz bands.  Yes, there is some queueing and jostling, but it is less intense, as people are not there just for the beer – it is an interesting adjunct to the music.

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