Has it really been a year already since the last Forever Bury beer festival? Apparently so. Forever Bury is a fund raising group that aims to put some money in the nearly empty coffers of Bury FC. And one way of doing that is through an annual beer fest. Thursday night was the opening night of this year’s bash and so I made the trek down to Gigg Lane and the Shaker's social club.
It’s £3 in and then beer tokens are purchased. One admirable facet of this scheme is that one £1 token equates to a half of any beer. This easy system does mean you have to keep prices steady, so, dare I say that it seems to have been £2 a pint, er, forever. Last year’s fest had been a good ‘un so I was looking forward to some more of the same.
Unfortunately, it became clear that there were a few technical problems. Most of the beer was on gravity but there were several being dispensed by (unsparkled) handpump. I went for one on the pumps-Whitehaven Ennerdale Blonde, which sounded interesting. Golden Promise malt and a blend of English & Czech Goldings. However, the beer was hazy, flat and warm. There’s obviously a decent beer there, but it was impossible to judge it under those conditions.
Sadly this was not a one off. A fair few beers were plainly green and lacking in condition. But the temperature was the main worry, as the organiser freely admitted. They hadn’t been able to the cool the room beforehand and without any cooling apparatus whatsoever, in a warm social club, the temperature was only ever going to rise. We ended the night hunting for bar towels to wet and put on the casks overnight. I’m back again today and hopefully things will have improved.