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Showing posts from January, 2021

A Festival Of Memories....

Last week would normally have been the week of the Manchester Beer Festival. In its unfortunate absence this year, my mind has wandered back to some of the beer festivals I have visited over the years. I have also thrown in a potted history of the beer festival as I see it and a few thoughts for the future for no extra charge, so off you go.... My Facebook memories over the past couple of weeks have featured plenty of photos from the Manchester Beer Festival which in recent years has normally taken place in the city centre at Manchester Central/G-Mex around late January. Banks of handpumps disappearing into the far horizon; views of the crowds of enthusiastic beer lovers enjoying their drinks below the stunning arches of the roof as the giant clock seems to eat up the time; assorted photos of friends, the odd selfie, groups of pub tickers, the occasional handshake with an ex-editor of the Good Beer Guide and guest speaker; people from all walks of life united in a love of beer and/or

The January Man....

 " And the January man c omes round again in woollen clothes a nd boots of leather, t o take another turn and walk along the icy road h e knows so well. T he January man is here f or starting each and every year  along the road forever."  Dave Goulder, The January Man. The start of a New Year. The beginning of the annual cycle, captured so eloquently in Dave Goulder's beautiful song. Traditionally, January tends to be the most depressing month of the year, which this time around is playing out as even more miserable than ever as lockdown is carried over from 2020. Cold nights, dreary days, interspersed with shopping for essentials, visits to dependants, walks amid the gloom. This January man would love to be sat right now in a warm pub with friends and some excellent hand-pumped beer or a hazy, juicy NEIPA from the taps. But alas, in these troublesome times, we can't do that. In any normal year, January though would have seen me moaning, and exhorting people to suppor