Best Part: The Beer!
I love St. Albans. I particularly love being a part of the city’s cultural heritage. From the Literary, Food and Street Festivals to all the wonderful Museum and Cathedral Events I think buzzy community events are something we do well. So when beer fan Mr Midweek Lunch and I found that our weekly slot coincided with the CAMRA Beer Festival, there was no where else we could possibly go at midday but the Alban Arena.
I was slightly worried that the catering outlets would be tailored more to pork loving, round bellied beer lovers than health conscious young(ish) lady vegetarian beer lovers as myself. However I was wrong. I had several choices for food and about 1000 for beer. My beer in commemorative glass was a wheat beer which I liked well enough. My food choice was a wood fired pizza which I didn’t. The base was too floury and the topping a sort of vegetarian supreme lacked flavour. The green chillies helped a bit but on the whole I prefer flavour to heat and felt that a bit of oregano, basil and black pepper in the passata would have helped matters enormously. Talking of which, the pizza itself was vast. See picture.
My husband had a kasewurst, a suitably long German sausage with a surprising centre of cheese. Despite the slightly worrying oozing out of the cheese centre when you bite into it, it was a lovely sausage, and not too pricey. He enjoyed being able to honour the Bavarian roots of the festival, and the sausage and beer combination is one that continues to entertain for obvious reasons.
I was pleased to spot friendly local LibDem councillor Geoff Harrison enjoying a pint. I was watching out for other local celebs too but given that I was only there for an hour the chance of seeing Bob Golding, one of the Three Brewers and Sir Frances Bacon were remote.
While I was ploughing through my pizza I amused myself by looking at the standard clientele which at this time of day consisted mainly of jolly men of a certain age and weight with their friends. I amused myself by predicting what Mr Midweek Lunch would look like when attending the beer festival in twenty years time. Incidentally he went on Friday night too where I believe the standard clientele were still jolly men of a certain age and weight with their friends, its just that they were just a bit drunker and joined by women this time. And why wouldn’t you be jolly – how wonderful to have CAMRA in your home town.
If you didn’t make it this year, I strongly encourage you to visit in 2017. If you don’t like Beer, they serve Cider and even cups of tea. I like beer though so I was very happy. Long may we continue to host this wonderful celebration of Ale and to a lesser extent midweek lunches.