I went to the Great British Beer Festival in London for the first time last week.
The first thing to say is how impressive Kensington Olympia where the event's held is: it's like walking into a Victorian railway station with its iron and glass arched roof and pillared galleries.
I'd read that the GBBF could be a bit overwhelming both in terms of the number of people attending and choice of beer but I can't say I found that; it was more like an upscaled version of the CAMRA festivals I've been to over the years in Manchester.
We mainly stuck to the brewery bars, drinking beers that you don't see much outside London such as Fuller's ESB and Young's Special and two that could easily join my list of favourites: Belhaven Black Stout and Harvey's XX Mild. I also got to drink draught Schlenkerla Rauchmärzen outside the brewpub in Bamberg for the first time and it was as deliciously smoky bacony as I remember it there.
If you live in Britain and like beer, you really should go to the GBBF at least once. I know that I'm already planning to return.