GBBF: The Great British Beer Festival
With more than one and a half pints served every second from the 700 ales and ciders available, the Great British Beer Festival is the biggest real ale festival in the world. Starting from today and going through until Saturday, this will be the first year it's held at it's new home in Earls Court. I've been every year for the past 3, and it is allot of fun. Not only are there hundreds of ales and ciders to choose from, but it's the only time of the year I play on the tombola "every one's a winner!", and get to buy bags and bags of pork scratchings. The best way to do it is to go around with a pint glass and only ask for halfs because they're cheaper than full ones, you get to try more before you fill up on beer, and you always get 3/4 of a pint for the price of a half. Some say "cheap", I say "thrifty".
- Highlights: Seeing "real ale" drinks with their huge beer bellys and big beards (they seem to go hand in hand). Eating copious amounts of pork products. The inevitably large cheese platter we can't finish. Bags and bags of pork scratchings & ale.
- Lowlights: Not remembering which beers you liked last time, and walking around endlessly trying to find it again.
- Things to say: "hmm, now I've had 1/2 a pint of Dragon Smoke Stout, Fursty Ferret and Ice Maiden, but I remember from last year that Summer Lightning, Gannet Milk where good too... OOH I might have a half a Black Prince next!"
- Things to not say: "Can I get a pint of Fosters please" - unless you want to get beaten up by one of the scary looking "real ale" drinkers.
SCCF: Singapore Chilli Crab Festival
If ale, cider and pig are not up your alley, then the Tiger Beer Singapore Chilli Crab Festival is on this Saturday and Sunday might be more your thing. A free event, held at the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane, East London, the festival is held simultaneously in New York, and is an "Asian street market with traditional hawker-style food stands". Chilli Crab is the unofficial "national dish" of Singapore, it comes with a yummy sauce of fresh red chillis, tomato sauce, fresh eggs and spring onions. Best eaten with your hands!
- Highlights: Eating yummy Singaporean food. I'm mostly looking forward to, guess what, the Chilli Crabs.
- Lowlights: Possibly being hungover from the GBBF, and not being able to face Chilli Crabs.
- Things to Say: "Crab and beer. Lets all cheer"
- Things not to say: "Ooh this Chinese festival is good innit? Where's the sweet and sour pork?"