Friday, 10 June 2011

The Summary

Well now it has all settled down I think I should write what happened and how it all went.
The week before we had the fest we had a lot of work to do to get the pub up to scratch including painting the outside my lesson from this is start these things earlier.
If it wasn't for the kindness of Mick and Brenda who came round and gave us a massive hand we would not have been ready and my heartfelt thanks goes out to them.
Mick even recovered some of the seating so goodbye to the gaffa tape!!
Other than the decorating and stuff there of course was the beers.The small Beer Co supplied them and communication between us was brilliant.Andy Mumford rang as soon as he knew that a couple of our choices of beers were not available and had alternatives already worked out for us. T shirts were from the Pub Clothing Company and went like hot cakes at 2.50 a go
I left venting and tapping the beers until Thursday night to get the longest life from them as I was still unsure that I would sell them all and kept 4 unbroached thinking I could use these as my next 4 weeks of guests.
These were tapped on the Friday night as it was so busy I thought rightly that I would need them before Monday.
Fitting the Handpulls was easy as my cellar is directly beneath the bar.we had a couple of pumps that the beer was dropping back down the line so non return valves will be used next time.

The Festival itself
The Friday was as we expected quiet in the afternoon then 6pm came and a few came in to see what we had.
then more then more and we were underway - The 3rd pint glasses were the stars of the show and I could have done with another 36 at least. most folk started at one end of the bar and had the beers in order then settled on the favourite for the last couple of pints.
New customers and old came in and bar a few " you cant get a better pint than Trophy or Smiths " brigade they all had a go at the beers even hardened lager drinkers.
This went on all weekend - we had a piano player lined up as well as a folky sing around but we were too busy for them to be heard most of the time so it was just the odd song being belted out - Thanks to Jacqui for the Friday as well as Barry Archer who arranged for some friends to come and sing.
Sunday was Pirate day with staff and customers getting in the spirit with Fancy dress and Andrew did us a Pirate themed quiz Johnny and Peter provided some 60's tunes in the early evening and everyone had a good singalong.
By Monday a few beers had come and gone and as the day went on the gaps started to appear on the board

We had a couple left that we sold over the week and by friday all of the beers had gone.

Other than the Folk that I have mentioned in this ramble I would like to thank again

Kevin my BRM from Punch who even came and tried all the beers on his Bank Holiday weekend off !!

Ray and Dave from Cleveland CAMRA who could not have been more helpful and who also came and tried all the Beers.
Howard White who constantly bombarded cyber space with promotions for us even inviting the Pope Charlie Sheen and the Dali Lhama among others.
Caroline and her cupcakes

Hazel Katy Christine Caroline Dave and Alan who all got threw in the deep end working over the weekend and handled it brilliantly
Our customers old and new for providing the good company and creating the great atmosphere
There are loads more who know who they are.

And of course Mand without her support and tireless working before during and after the Fest would not have been the success it was.

Would I do it again ?............................................................................Roll on August Bank Holiday weekend 12 beers all good uns


Friday, 3 June 2011

All done for the next one

If you called in for a pint half or third you know how well the fest went - better than I could imagine each day was steady until about 6 ish then folk came in from all over the place.We had Camra  folk, music folk and even lager folk all coming to try the beers - The 1/3rd pints were the stars of the show meaning you could try them all and still only had 4 pints!
We put curry chilli and homemande soup on over the weekend and all were very well received (Thanks Dave).
I am finding this very hard to write as there are still so many things going round my head so I will probably come back and say more after the weekend ... we still have a couple of beers on that need drinking so I best start on that

Chin Chin


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Beers are on the way !!!

Had a phone call from the carrier and the beer will be here first thing tomorrow so that gives loads of time to settle - am working on getting some pipework which is fairly crucial and its just a matter of getting it at a decent price as wont really be used after.
Pub is starting to look good with the paint still drying as have been painting all day still a bit to do though.
The weather has held up painting the outside so may have to bite the bullet and do it in the wind if its the same tomorrow.
Punch national quiz tonight so I had better open the envelope and give it a read I suppose.


Monday, 23 May 2011

The Pumps are HERE !!

Well what a day its been it started slowly then I got the call I had been waiting for "Steve come and get the Handpulls" :-)
So off I went to a secret location and picked up Handpulls , Sparklets ,Taps , Line ends and Trays with massive thanks to Cleveland Camra once again they could not have been more helpful.
So back to Hartlepool to find that I had missed a delivery - T shirts or Glasses ?
So off I went to the post office and picked up my 2 boxes The first was our 2 Pint carryout containers - I had forgotten about those - the next was heavy enough to be glasses and so it was.
However they were supposed to be 3rds unfortunately they were whiskey tumblers unmarked and no sign of the Beer Bats ( a little tray type thing to carry 3 x 3rds.)
So i contacted my BRM at Punch and as usual he was straight on to it .
After toing and froing The supplier is frantically trying to find some stamped glasses and send some more Bats ( he reckoned that they were all packed together and had been nicked ) .
Theeeeennnnnn My son came round to build the racks which is a quite important thing - they are now done so we have 3 that will take 5 each and 5 auto tilts.He also made about 30 wedges so the beer does not roll all over the place.


tomorrow is finishing reorganising the cellar and my normal delivery day as well as decorating the top end of the bar so that should be an interesting day

Once again thanks to a\lan (the rack man)  Camra and Kevin from Punch for the support they have given - Amazing
Nap time

Friday, 20 May 2011

One Week To Go

Well things are moving along
T Shirts Ordered
1/3rd pint Glasses on way with Bats
Flyers done and put out and about
Racking being done tomorrow
Beers on Way
handpulls are being picked up Monday
Entertainment being organised
Probably loads of other stuff to do just my brain is full at the min - might have to make a list !!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Wood for Racking is here

Have just taken delivery of the wood for the racking so that is being assembled/created for me next weekend ready for the beers being delivered on the Wednesday all to be dropped in the cellar by me as it is sent by carrier - All pump clips are supplied too so I don't have to chase any up.
Still need another couple of beers that I will get from the Punch list thinking about Adnams Lighthouse and possibly Broadside which is one of my favorites so I am indulging myself a little there !
Cleveland Camra have once again helped me out with taps so I don't have to buy them and then leave them on the shelf until the next Fest ( August if this one goes well but don't tell Mandy ) and once again many thanks to them.
T shirts have been ordered so we will have 50 for sale over the weekend and staff shirts are also ordered.
We have just got our logo so unfortunately we will not be having festival glasses this time as it is too late to order so will save those for August.

Bye for now chaps and chapesses

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The List is finished Wehey

We have finally finished our list of Ales and I think we have a fair range of style and Gravity (ABV to you young uns) as we have said we have stuck to the nautical theme now we are working n bits of entertainment to keep everybody amused while they sample the beers.
We are intending to have a bit of folk a bit of sea shanty a bit of piano and a bit of magic and also a bit of light rock if possible.
Now of in search of taps for the casks  and wood to make the racking

Friday, 29 April 2011


We have whittled down the list to about 40 beers so not much left to do before ordering, now the logistics of racking that many beers kicks in - Do I use scaffolding or wood as a temporary stillage  - decisions decisions.
The ales we have chosen are all of a nautical theme and I think we have a good balance of strengths and types I will post the list when we have the definite 20 well back to the decorating to get the place sorted for the hoards of folk who will be visiting the Fest

Toodle pip Peeps

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Under starters orders

Me and Mand have been having a high powered meeting to sort everything out and we seem to be making some headway - We have decided to theme the Festival and its going to be ..........................................................................................Nautical which seems very apt for a pub called the Fishermans Arms that is a stone throw from the sea.
Advertising should kick in about 2 weeks prior and we are designing the posters and flyers this week so if you need some to put in your works rest/break room or office then please let me know - the better this goes the more chance we will do more.
Anyway I had best go back to the beer list and narrow down the Ales


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cask Marque

Well just in time for the fest we have gained Cask Marque accreditation only the 6th pub in the town and the first on the Headland and with our 3 handpulls always on I think we can claim to be The Headland's premier Real Ale venue !!
Have started to think about the beer to put on again and it really is difficult - I have asked Cleveland Camra to suggest a couple and I think the rest will be shortlisted to about 50 then whittled down to the 20 from there.
Sunderland & South tynside have added the Fest to and Facebook  a big thank you to them for that.

Best get back to choosing beers then  Oh and by the way did I mention that  we have been Cask Marque accredited

toodle pip

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Handpull Heaven oo er missus

Well the problem of the Handpulls is now sorted as Cleveland CAMRA have come to the rescue and have some I can borrow ....phew that was a bit of a worry.
Now I have to troll through the beer list so I can have a good range that all will enjoy - not an easy task as Punch have given me hundereds to choose from and I am getting a steady stream of Breweries send me info about their beers and what point of sale I can have if I put them on.
I think I will just look through them nearer order day and see whats best having said that I think point of sale stuff should always be available no matter what amount of beer you have from them - ta ta for now and once again thanks to Cleveland CAMRA Guys and Gals

Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Lull

Things are a bit quiet at the minute regarding the Beer Fest - Loads of ideas going around our heads for food and music and stuff and of course the Beers
 We are looking at 20 and the list I have gives them from all around the country so the choice is mind boggling to say the least!!.
Then there is the question of strength do we get mainly session beers with a couple of heavyweights or just a couple of each volume - decisions decisions ....... I am sure it will all be clear by ordering day

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

1st Pump sorted

Picked up our first Beer fest pump today a wipe down and a bit of Brasso and its looking good also was given 4 auto tilt racks to put the casks on so just another 16 or so of those needed !!

Monday, 21 February 2011

The search for pumps has started

The search for Handpulls is off to a flying start and I have the first one courtesy of another Punch pub in the area  so that just leaves 8 to find so if anyone is reading this and they know of any anywhere then please let me know

Saturday, 19 February 2011

So far ......

Things are moving pretty fast at the moment with suppliers sending me massive lists of beers available to us - there must be over 250 !!!!! I have to choose about 20 of them so that should be fun .
The search is on for the additional 9 handpulls I need to fill the bar to give us a total of 12 and some scaffolding poles to make up some racks in the cellar - not panicking yet though as we have plenty of time I just need to beg steal and borrow to save cash for the Ales.
I have to say Punch Taverns support is very impressive and I think I will owe my BRM Kevin a few beers at the Festival.
Well thats all for now as I have to pack something for a night away ( time off is very precious).........bye for now.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

First Beer Fest meeting

Well I wasn't really planning to do a beer festival yet however my regional manager dropped a pack in so we thought why the hell not .
After looking at the vast space we have on the bar I had a quick calculation and reckon if we get rid of the fosters temporarily we can squeeze an additional 9....... yes 9 Handpulls on there to make a total of 12 with a bit of chopping and changing.
The Cellar
There is loads of room down there so space is not a massive issue as long as we have 2 high racks scaffolding poles should do the job nicely .I may have to make a big hole for the lines to go through it's good luck that  I have a hammer so this should not be a major problem.
The Beers
My initial thoughts are 20 different ones in total and maybe a Pin ( 4.5 Gall) of lumpy cider on the back bar.
This may change as I think about it.

Soooo here we go on the journey of my first Beer festival at The Fish