An appreciation of Great British Beer

August 5, 2019

This year’s Great British Beer Festival takes place at Olympia London 6-10 August. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) it brings hundreds of ales, beers and ciders under one roof. The venue was designed by architect Joseph Emberton in the 1920s.

Real ale is definitely a favourite amongst Who’s Who entrants. Botanist Simon Hiscock tells us he is a CAMRA member, while Ven. Stephen Robbins spends his time ‘trying to find a beer I don’t like’. Journalist Stephen Dyson likes ‘drinking real ale, eating pork scratchings’, while maritime archaeologist Sean McGrail goes as far as calling himself a ‘real ale specialist’. Professor of Economic History Nicholas Crafts enjoys ‘betting on horses, drinking beer’, and botanist Richard Bateman likes ‘pontificating while drinking decent beer’. Barrister Simon Walsh spends his time ‘promoting the survival of real ale’, and television presenter Simon Reeve enjoys ‘cold beer’ alongside his memorable adventures.

As we all know, Nigel Farage, Leader of the Brexit Party, enjoys ‘proper English pubs’. Therese Coffey, MP and Baroness Williams of Trafford (Minister at the Home Office) both like pub quizzes, while James Abrahams, QC enjoys ‘long walks that finish in a pub’. Royal broadcaster Jennie Bond enjoys ‘bopping to bands in our local pub’, and Director of the Camden Arts Centre, Martin Clark spends his time ‘drinking in pubs, dancing hard’. Professor of Divinity James Dunn likes ‘checking out The Good Pub Guide’. Writer Hanif Kureishi enjoys ‘sitting in pubs’ and novelist Ian Rankin describes himself as a ‘regular visitor to Edinburgh pubs’.

Cartoonist and illustrator Martin Rowson has for many years been Cartoonist Laureate to the Mayor of London in return for one pint of London Pride Ale per annum. Perhaps the new word for the day comes from solicitor Allan Roberts who gives his recreation as ‘tegestology’ (collecting beer mats).