Friday, 1 March 2013

Refreshed and raring to go

For the first time ever, I've stayed in Hove Town Hall between shifts.  Usually, it's a good idea to pop out for some fresh air (even when that fresh air is merely the gap from HTH to The Neptune!), but today - with the website to update for beer changes between sessions (following the post-session dipping by the cellar guys) - it was more prudent to stay put.  The beer festival is a sedate and peaceful place when not open to the public - small groups of staff unwind over a beer or two and rest their weary legs (as fun as the bar work is, it is tiring!).

Relaxing between sessions:

This is however a fantastic time to have a good look for unusual beers (and to spot which beers have been flying out and are likely to run out shortly!).  The angle of the cask - known as the "stoop" - is often a good indicator of how much beer is left inside.  This should only ever be done by an experienced cellarman - stooping too early will churn up the sediment and can render the beer undrinkable (as can tilting the cask by hand, no matter how well-intentioned the motives are!).

We did have the unusual phenomenon of a queue forming before 4pm - possibly in reaction to the 100 first-come, first-served tickets for sale on the door.  Friday night is our flagship session, often selling out three or four weeks beforehand, so a busy night is expected.  This is also the session I often describe to people as being more comfortable behind the bar than in front of it, as we have more space!  

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