It’s that time of year again. The Great British Beer Festival is upon us and we wait in anticipation for the release of the beer list. An experience that I can only compare to Christmas or the anticipation of sex. Let me explain…

You know it’s coming, you know what it going to be like, you can see the goods wrapped and ready to be torn apart. And then you get to them. Tear the wrapping off a moment of absolute excitement and ecstasy and then a release of sorts. Then it’s all over. And what have you got? The promise of something amazing and then the reality…

The GBBF beer list is the same for me. This will be my third year at the event now (so still a relative rookie) and each year I have got more and more excited about the release of the beer list. This years release came without too much fanfare (in fact I picked it up from Jeff Evans on Twitter rather than official GBBF account) but even so I found myself getting that familiar feeling of excitement building as I clicked on the link.

I wasn’t disappointed (well maybe only a little that once again Adnams only had one beer on offer) but other than that there’s a fine selection. My current list is 26 beers long – even sticking to 1/3 pints that’s just over 8 pints to get through. My previous best is approx 12 different beers and I’ve only ever managed 6 hours at the event. This may be a challenge to far.

The question is – do I stick with all 26 or drop some from the list that I’ve had before? Those on the potential cull list include Adnams Ghost Ship, Thornbridge Wild Swan, Crouch Vale Citra and Fyne Jarl – the latter being the newly crowned ‘king of Scottish beer’ – what to do?

I think the initial plan will be to hit the new beers first – I’m quite excited about some of Brains releases including the Atlantic White IPA (would be a first for me) and the double chocolate & bacon porter A-Pork-Alypse (mouthwatering) and also the Triple Hop by Arbor, the Monkey IPA by Art Brew and the Black by Williams Bros but to name a few. So going back to my initial comparison, will this be a tear, rip and done in 30 seconds affair or something a little more refined? Only time will tell…

We’re at GBBF on Friday (Steve) and Saturday (Mark). If you want to review a beer from GBBF for the show, tweet us @beerhund (Steve) and @ReliqEU (Mark) while we’re there and let us know so we can arrange to meet you. Our summer special featuring our thoughts on GBBF will be our on 23 Aug.

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