Virtual beer festival
Yesterday, at the request of a nearly six year old girl, we brought together seven households from Cardiff, Didcot, London, Reading, Sheffield and Winchester for a ten hour long virtual beer festival. The girl in question was missing the fun and excitement of the Reading Beer Festival and who could blame her – all the adults were too!
I went to my first Reading Beer Festival in 2003 during my PhD, chalked up nine in a row, had a hiatus when living on a different continent, then bagged my tenth a few years ago. For me, it is the best beer festival. The first May Bank Holiday often (but not always!) has good weather. There are casks of beer aplenty beneath the canvas, cider and fruit wine for those after something different, music, Morris Men, face painting, balloon animals, hog roast, and generally lots of (mainly) responsible drinking! A fry up and a walk on the Sunday and to round out the weekend, music down the Hopleaf pub.
For the virtual event yesterday, our host and convener designed a logo, which we incorporated into coasters and tasting guide booklets for an authentic beer festival experience. Face painting and dinosaur temporary tattoos for the young and the young-at-heart, a WhatsApp chat where we shared beer tasting notes, then some music at the end of the night.
The years go by, kids come along for some of us but pubs and beer festivals remain an inherently social activity where bonds of friendship are renewed and the world put to rights... while I'm definitely looking forward to in-person meet-ups with this crowd again, I'm grateful that we have the technological tools for the meantime!
Entry 82 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!