Brampton Best – cheers!
I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised by this festival. The surroundings are, er, unusual. A marquee in a paddock adjacent to the former goods yard (now one of several rolling stock
graveyards storage-pending-restoration areas on this site) serves as the focus of the festival. A second bar is running in some stabled coaching stock, which doubles as quiet a seating area.
The weather is stunning and absolutely makes the event. Apparently this time last year, for the inaugural Amber Valley Camra BeerFest here, they were ankle deep in mud. What a difference a year makes.
The legacy of last year might be the festival’s undoing. For much of this afternoon it is sad but true that volunteers/staff have outnumbered visitors/customers.
That is everyone else’s loss as far as I’m concerned as it has made for a really relaxing atmosphere. Good for me, but of course not for the organisers.
The beer choice is admirable, with a bias toward local micro-brewers – of which the legions are ever expanding, so there’s no danger of the choice getting boring.
So I’m sitting out in the paddock, in the dappled shade of a large tree, looking over toward the new houses occupying the Butterley Company’s former stock yard (with police radio mast beyond!). It’s hotter than it has a right to be for the last day of September, but a very gentle breeze and the cool, fine beer makes all right with the world.