Coalheavers Arms

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Spring Beer Festival 2008

The recent May beer festival at the Coalheavers went astoundingly well. The beers turned up on Tuesday and were vented and tapped, and 90% of them were clear and ready to serve on Wednesday morning. Milton Brewery did a great job providing us with a range of beers from the length and breadth of the country.

Thursday started off with heavy rain but it seemed to be our lot for the week and we were blessed with sun for the rest of the festival.

The unofficial best beer (voted for by Tom and Dave) was the Nethergate Stour Valley Strong, an exceptionally complex, dark and delicious beer. We received lots of nice comments about the quality of the beer served, which is always difficult to achieve in festival conditions.

The fastest sellers were Buntingford Lightning and Golden Plover, followed by the always popular Nottingham EPA. The best seller over the week was our own Milton Bomber's Drop, which proved a big hit on Saturday.

Saturday was a excellent day - being the most successful day ever since Individual Pubs took over the pub in 2002. We were helped by the large number of Posh fans turning up to celebrate their promotion and the last game of the season. We also welcomed their opposition fans from Darlington in large numbers.

Sunday afternoon was a chilled out affair with an excellent performance from Skin & Bone who played some classic blues covers with some superb guitar skills from Ewan. They played to the audience by finishing off with some Pink Floyd numbers.

Monday our last day had Daine and partner providing a Jamaican flavour to the cooking with jerk chicken, beef patties and home-made banana cake.

Our friend Simon from the Prince of Wales Feathers at Castor came up trumps with a tug-of-war rope, however Peterborough CAMRA cricket club didn't turn up for the challenge so we were short on opposition. Mick rounded up anyone in the garden who wanted to have a go on the rope (and a fair few who weren't as keen).

The resulting match will go down in history as a shambles by the losing team, and a glorious sporting result by the victors. Highlights include the entire Tatnall clan landing in the bush and the complete ignoring of the umpire.

To celebrate the victory Baz, the self-apointed captain of the winning team was challenged to a yard-of-ale and proved nothing if not game! However he needed help from Paul Read and our own Dave Botton before snatching back the yard to finish off the last dregs!

A lot of work went into the festival as usual and we couldn't do it without the kind volunteers - so here's a big thank you to John Rice, Mick and Baz Read, Mark Skeet, Ady Murphy, Sponge, Graham, Rob, Martin, Zoe, Jaime, Shirley and of course Michelle.

After the last two festivals, I have had a lot of requests for the burger recipe and my chilli sauce recipe. You can see them on the all-new Coalheavers Recipes page here.

-- Tom

The festival programme, including the beer list, can be downloaded here. If you don't have it already, you may need to download OpenOffice to be able to read the file.

Hello facebook! sde@individualpubs.co.uk (Stephen Early) is allowed to claim business pages for these pubs.