On Saturday 1st June 2013, MFBR caught the train with a handful of friends and made our way to the 3rd annual Crystal Palace Beer Festival (CPBF Beer Festival). It was a rare sight at Selhurst Park as more than 2000 fans turned up (I’m honestly not bitter about them beating Brighton in the Semi’s). However, football-related bitterness was soon replaced by the thought of ale-related bitterness as we approached the entrance to receive our pint glasses. Handing out the glasses and programmes were The Crystal Girls, much to the delight of, well, everyone. With your glass in one hand and programme in the other, you were now fully equipped to take on the CPBF in all its glory.
CPBF provides an interesting method for obtaining your beverages. Rather than paying as you go, you purchase a number of tickets that can be exchanged for either a pint or a half pint of ale or cider i.e. two tickets for a pint, one for a half. It was a welcome change as it allows you to simply offer your ticket towards the kindly volunteer and be on your way, without having to worry about masses of change slowly dragging your jeans down to your ankles.
There was a fine selection of ales and ciders present, with over 160 available you were truly spoilt for choice. The event sponsors were the ever popular Sharp’s Brewery, perhaps best known for Doom Bar, and the glass sponsors were the Cronx Brewery who received the honour of having their Galaxy IPA being chosen as Beer of the Festival – a feat made even more impressive when considering the competition present. MFBR sampled a variety of ales and were endeared to many new breweries including the Coach House Brewing Company, whose toffee, blueberry and ginger ales all impressed. For greater detail about some of the ales we tried, keep an eye out for our future reviews. Now, I can imagine the crushing disappointment you all feel that there are no tasting notes included in this write-up, so I will graciously supply you with one spoiler…one of the ales in particular was very nice. You’re welcome.
Overall, the festival was a resounding success, with CPFC hailing it as their best festival yet. The event was completely sold out, with everyone enjoying not only the ales, but also the entertainment on show. Palace player Jonny Williams was present to pose with fans for photos alongside the Championship Play-Off trophy and there was live music throughout the day. Not only that, numerous big screen TVs were showing various sporting events including Palace’s Semi-Final win over Brighton (get over it) as well as their Play-Off Final win over Watford. It was a day that provided everything you could want; ale, sports, music and pie. With the festival seemingly getting better each year, MFBR eagerly await the 4th annual Crystal Palace Beer Festival.
See our live tweet stream and pictures here on Storify!