West London CAMRA branch members enjoyed the recent Great British Beer Festival held at the Olympia exhibition centre in West Kensington. This was the 25th consecutive time the event was held in the West London branch area, mostly at Olympia (for six years it was at Earls Court).
Several of the branch members had volunteered to work at the festival. Many of them have worked at the festival several times before including our branch chairman Les Maggs who continued with his usual role on the glasses counter, committee member Nick Cornish on the stewarding team, and Paul Young at the festival entrance. Our pubs liaison officer Peter Chutter enjoyed his first GBBF as a volunteer working behind the bar, sporting a rather distinctive hat!
Other members enjoyed drinking at the festival. With over 900 real ales, ciders, perries and international beers there was no shortage of choice. The bars at the festival were named after the winners of the CAMRA National Pub of the Year in recent years. This included a bar named after West London's The Harp - which was National Pub of the Year in 2010. The festival volunteers were also able to try several of the beers and had a special bar of their own, the Volunteer Arms.
Beers were available from across the UK, the rest of Europe and the USA. Breweries from our branch area were also featured - Fuller's (who had their own brewery bar with eight beers) and Moncada (Notting Hill Blond was available on cask, their bottled beers were also available).
Next year, the GBBF will be back again in West London Branch at Olympia, on 8 to 12 August 2017.