Two posts ago, trying to put my own angle on some subject or other, it was suggested by my jocular friendly commenters that I was just trying to gain attention. It has made me think a little about the subject of the reward for the writing I do. I give fuller reasons in response to the comments on the above mentioned post, but in summary; of course I'm interested in how many people read my blog, I wouldn't be motivated to write otherwise, it's simple. However, removing tongue from cheek, the point about competitiveness being detrimental is not lost on me.
Although web stat information is important to me, it's just numbers. Wikio has always thrown up some dubious results, including my 5th position ranking, so machine generated popularity indicators like this are of limited value. What get's me more motivated are comments to posts. Nice thoughtful ones are better and constructive disagreement makes it interesting.
What really pleases me is when I meet people and without any previous discussion on the subject they tell me they read my blog. That's worth 1000 site hits to me. When I was at the Whitehaven Beer Festival recently I was very pleased that someone did just that. The problem is he also asked if I was going to write anything about the event so now I feel really guilty that I have not written a word about it at all.
What can I say, it's just as good as it has been the last few years. A number of our local CAMRA branch members work very hard to make it a success. They have an interesting enough range of beers for me to want to go, the atmosphere is friendly, there is enough seating for everybody and the beers seem to be served in good condition. I hope, despite the floods at the weekend, that the event was a success. It seemed busy enough on Saturday afternoon so I guess it was.
We took a couple with us who were staying with us that weekend and they really liked the friendly atmosphere. They mentioned it several times afterwards, so I'm guessing they really meant it.
But what was the beer like? Well I didn't have a bad one but my memory is fading on detail. I did have the presence of mind to mark on my program which beers I had, so here goes.
Bitter End, Festival Ale 4.0% - I did hear a bad remark about this one but I seemed to remember liking it.
Blackbeck Belle 3.7% - One of our newest breweries, a long time in the promise and finally delivering beer. I liked this one better than the first pale and uninteresting beer I sampled from this brewery a few weeks ago. This has a nice balance of coloured malt and hops making for a far more delicious beer.
Foxfield, Blackberry and Nettle 4.0% - One thing that this brewery can never be accused of is being uninteresting. Stuart doesn't let the possibility of failure get in the way of experimentation. In this case whole blackites and nettle cordial were put in the cask with a base beer. I quite liked the small taster I had, although I wouldn't say I'd have a whole pint, but then fruit beer isn't my thing.
Great Gable, Smokey Howe 4.5% - Other people felt it had just the right amount of smoked malt in it. I remember thinking I'd prefer a lot more, but I think that is just me.
Tigertops, Das Alt 4.9% - I've never had an Alt beer so I can't say if it was authentic. I did like it though.
WC Brewery, Gypsy's Kiss 4.1% - Nice beer despite the name suggesting it's brewed in a toilet.
Whitehaven, Ennerdale Spice 4.2% - The star of the show for me. Reminded me of Christmas spices and coffee or orange matchmakers. I loved it.
All in all I enjoyed the festival, again. I do hope that the popularity of the festival makes it worthwhile for the organisers. Moreover, my own Stout Baaaa 4.6% was liked by Mary, our branch chair, who "doesn't like stout". Sorry to CdeC who would have preferred Light Cascade 3.4%, but we'd run out of that one. You just can't be popular with everybody.