I've had this tankard for well over 20 years, however, I use it but once a year, Sat 30th July 2016 was the date for this year's annual day out. Every year The Harwich Town Brewing Co hold a beer festival at the rather splendid Redoubt Fort (read more about it here http://www.harwich-society.co.uk/old/info_redoubt.htm) in Harwich, close to the brewery, which in turn is a stone's throw away from the train station, making it very convenient to get to. Well, convenient for me (especially as I have to change at Manningtree and a visit to the Station Buffet for breakfast is a must, also, usually has three cask ales on at any one time)!
The festival run for three days, and, as is often the case, the Saturday is the last day, which means your beer choices can be a bit limited, especially at a small festival such as this one. However, as you can see, I had nothing to fear:
The board is completely interactive, when one beer runs out, someone deletes it from the whiteboard and when a new one is ready someone writes it up, it is a blinding invention and might one day catch on. Beers of the day included two of the offerings from Great Heck in Yorkshire - Citra and Yakima. Also, a bottle of the Harwich Impy Stout, brewed once a year and comes in at 8.5%, a superb end of session beer.
However, the real beauty of this local beer festival is the location, it is simply awesome, and, well worth the £3 entry fee on the day. There are lots of side rooms, all with various historical displays, of which we viewed a few, mainly thanks to the British summer producing the usual downpour during an outdoors event!
(Picture courtesy of Steve Bentall)
The evening however, turned out beautifully and was very chilled with some live music (at a nice level where you could still chat, other festivals take note please, speakers and volume can be easily adjusted, on does not have to mean loud) and the sun setting over the walls, there really was no encouragement to leave, so, we didn't...........until around 9pm, which meant we had spent around 9 1/2 hours in the fort drinking pints of beer (although one of the party did hit the keg early doors, no names Beer Show Steve....), chilling and chatting to friends and strangers alike.
Oh, and in case you are wondering why I take the tankard with me to this particular beer festival, the answer is simple, they give you a free 1/2 pint of your choice for doing so, cheers!
More information about Harwich Town Brewing Co can be found here: http://www.harwichtown.co.uk/index.htm