Visitors' Comments WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT BATTERSEA 2012 Every year, after the festival, we publish on the website the comments made on the feedback forms. This February there were 4,844 admissions over the three days and 98 comments were received. These are collated below. Comments are sorted into CAMRA’s standard Pub of the Year Judging categories. Where comments were made on separate issues on the same form, they have been split accordingly. All comments have been transcribed as written – including the multiple exclamation marks... 'TH comment' is the response of the Festival Organiser Quality of beer etc: Beers in very good nick. Difficult to choose a winner. Thank you!! CAMRA member – South Hants All very good – first class! CAMRA member – West London Hoping for more London beers CAMRA member – Cornwall Decent range of well-kept ale CAMRA member – Leeds Brilliant beer choice CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton Queuing in minus 2 degrees first day – well worth it! Very good selection despite of road/ weather conditions. CAMRA member – South West London Thank you for a good selection CAMRA Member – Brighton & South Downs Excellent choice of beers CAMRA member – South West London Great festival, great beer. CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow Superb range of real ales CAMRA member – South Hants Beer quality excellent CAMRA member – Bromley Superb beer range CAMRA member – Bromley So many under 4.0% (ABV) in February – thank you CAMRA member – Kingston & Leatherhead ...finally, my favourite beer – Binghams Brickworks Bitter – not only the best beer I had at the festival but also the best beer that I’ve had this year – (description omitted) – and never heard of it before! From a man with 4,000 different beers behind him. Non-member Why no ace London breweries eg East London, Redemption, Brodies ? Very disappointing CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton TH comment: all of these beers were available at his/her branch’s festival in the autumn and on the whole, it is better campaigning if people make the effort to drink London beers in London pubs. As an East Anglian, I would like to see more East Anglian beers on offer eg Winters, Blackfriars, Nethergate. Non-member No Sharps Doom Bar bitter CAMRA member – Cornwall I arrived at 12:45 on Wednesday. There were not enough beers available from different breweries. Some breweries were represented by 2 or 3 beers, some breweries represented not at all. A very poor choice, not like previous years when the selection and availability have been excellent. I left the festival at 15:00 to go to the Falcon whose festival was far more varied. How can you represent beers from different breweries if they are not available. I appreciate the need to keep beers back but surely it would be better to have more breweries and less beers per brewery and then switch them during the session? CAMRA member- no branch given Disappointed! 24 stouts/porters listed in programme – only 3 available Wednesday afternoon CAMRA member – no branch given Never known so many beers not available CAMRA member – Kingston & Leatherhead All beers too cold. No stout on Wednesday. CAMRA member – Chilterns Generally a paucity of dark beer. You need to balance your beer choice more. CAMRA member – Mid-Essex Too many ales not available. CAMRA member – Kingston & Leatherhead Unfortunately the Elland 1872 porter ran out on Friday afternoon. Non-member TH comment: it lasted that long? I didn’t get any of it. I have the usual criticism/observation that there are not enough strong dark beers, stouts and porters. Although there appear to be plenty on the list they always are in short supply, particularly on the last day. This tells me that they are popular, more popular perhaps than the pale low alcohol session beers that are always in plentiful supply. CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow Beer temperature great on Wednesday but too warm by Thursday PM. Not sure that this matter is taken seriously. Keep the heating OFF as much as you can!!!! GBBF cooling kit???? CAMRA member – South West London Thursday – a lot of beers advertised not available CAMRA member – West Middlesex The Strong Ale bar had a good choice on it (Thurs eve). This suggests a separate bar is a good thing. My wife likes the strong ales and is frustrated how they sell out very quickly when they are on the main bar. CAMRA member – North Surrey Strong beers at Battersea – whatever next? WELL DONE!!! I have been coming to your festival for about 15 years as it is cheap and easy to get there, not because I can get beers that I like until this year. Wonderful to get anything over 6% at Battersea Beer Festival. What happened????? You have a winter festival – a (illegible) for stronger ales produced at this time. Take the opportunity to brighten up the winter after ‘Pigs Ear’. But CONGRATULATIONS on coming out of the rut of weak beers (under 6%). I will return...... FOR OVER 7% BEERS. GOOD. CAMRA member – West Middlesex Strong Ale Bar – EXCELLENT idea – and all but one on on Wednesday – very good. Keep it up. PS we know that we won’t be here next year so don’t despair if it (illegible). We will be back in 2014. CAMRA member – West Middlesex Fabulous – mild in amber. Made it easier for me to try all my fav types of beer. Some may say yellow but amber is the colour as I’m a Sutton United FC supporter! CAMRA member – Sutton & Croydon Beer is good for my eggs Non-member Please, please, please have less strong ciders and perrys. There are too many that are 6% + at this festival Non-member Please have a range of Cider & perry ABV. There are tasty ciders/perries 6% eg Millwhites Hedge Layer and Westons Country Perry. CAMRA member – Mid-Chilterns Style and Décor (Conditions in Venue): Awarded coldest indoor festival !! CAMRA member – Maidstone Bloody cold CAMRA member – Brighton & South Downs Brrrr! CAMRA member – Mid-Essex A bit cold! Cool the beer and heat the hall CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton It’s a bit cold out here CAMRA member – South West London Nice venue but the overall aroma of a fish dock prevailed throughout the hall CAMRA member – Leeds A good festival but the venue seemed too cramped – not enough room to move so I and my fellow drinkers stood up in the corridor and I couldn’t get to the other side of the bar. Non-member Bloody cold Non-member It was f**king cold CAMRA member – Cambridge It was damn cold in the hall – no excuses! CAMRA member – Kingston & Leatherhead I know that you write in the festival brochure that the hall has to be cold to keep the beers in their best condition but surely it doesn’t have to be quite so cold. It was cold despite a lot of people and therefore lots of 'body heat' on Friday evening. CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton TH comment: we cannot use the CAMRA cooling equipment because we have neither the power supply nor the space – without seriously reducing the stillage area. Alas, we cannot control the weather. If the festival had been held two weeks later then we would have had a very different set of comments. Service and welcome: Very friendly & helpful staff throughout Non-member The foreign/strong ale staff were particularly friendly Non-member No hot water CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton One complaint: why doesn't the hot water tap work in the gents especially in the cold weather CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow Tell BAC to get their act together eg no hot water in gents and only one drier CAMRA member – South West London TH comment: we are only too aware of this problem... Thanks to volunteers CAMRA member – South East London Thank you CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow As ever, my favourite beer festival and a big thank you to all the very helpful bar staff. CAMRA member – South East London Great festival – thank you CAMRA member – West Kent Lovely, well-organised, laid back festival. Long may it continue. Thank you. CAMRA member – Brighton & South Downs Another excellent beerfest – luv it – see you next year. CAMRA member – South Hants Many thanks – another great festival CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton Brilliant festival, the best in London – probably CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton Suggest that you have people who know what beers are on and how bar is laid out. I was told that a beer starting with S would be under section A-L CAMRA Mid-Essex Otherwise great festival. You must be doing something right as it’s my fifth time of coming here. CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow I know its difficult but if the beers could be arranged in alphabetic order by brewery it would help both customers and staff. CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton Shame there weren’t more stalls ie games, t-shirts CAMRA member – Medway Tables very good. Jogged several times but no spillages. CAMRA member – North Surrey You do need to send someone round with a bin bag for the rubbish! Apart from that, a great festival. Congrats to all the hard working volunteers. CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow Excellent festival as expected from multiple prior experiences – thank you. CAMRA member- Richmond & Hounslow Atmosphere & Clientele Mix: Don’t change a thing!!! Non-member Very enjoyable – please keep up the good work Non-member Long may you carry on – good on yer CAMRA member – West London Cracking beer festival ! Non-member Job well done as usual CAMRA member – South East London Also, despite the above (comment re third-pint glasses below) another great festival – thanks. CAMRA member – Oxford Superb beer festival ... and very friendly CAMRA member – South West London Great festival, great beer. Love the charity you support – it’s close to the heart of my missus. CAMRA member – Richmond & Hounslow Thoroughly enjoyed your beer festival. This is our second year. Hope there are many years to come. Very well done. CAMRA member – South Hants Once again, well done “chaps” CAMRA member – EAMS ...also, an excellent atmosphere – very enjoyable CAMRA member – Bromley Would like to see more Goth-Punk babes at these types of festivals Non-member TH comment: sorry but this is really down to people to arrange for themselves... Lack of music; please include live music/bands in the future Non-member Music needed – live would be best Non-member A big lack of music. If you charged 10p per pint more you could raise enough funds for a live band each evening which would really provide a good positive atmosphere CAMRA member – branch not given TH comment: finance is not the issue. We have taken a deliberate decision not to have music because we believe that the majority of customers do not want it. To my mind there was nothing lacking in the atmosphere. We had the happy buzz of people drinking and chatting. still miss the jug band CAMRA member – Brighton & South Downs Sympathy with CAMRA Aims: Have ale only CAMRA member – no branch given Please re-introduce the ‘one third of a pint option’. Some of us are more concerned about beer quality rather than quantity. It also offers the opportunity to try more different beers – surely what a beer festival is all about? And if you have a great ‘third’ of a particular beer you can always have another third – or half – or pint – so everyone’s a winner. Non-member Shame no third-pint measures are available – a good campaigning tool!! CAMRA member – Sutton & Croydon Despite your programme protestations, there is a demand for third-pint measures, as at almost every other CAMRA beer festival. Not much effort needed – an advance for 2013 –perhaps? CAMRA member – Oxford Third measures would be great! Chance to try more beers without getting completely pissed! CAMRA member – Sutton & Croydon Third-pint measures = sorely missed! Please rectify!! CAMRA member – Sutton & Croydon Third pints please CAMRA member – Enfield & Barnet Bring back third pints CAMRA member – Surrey/Hants Borders I understand that you don’t have third pint glasses but why don’t you have third pint lines on the pint glass? So people can try more of the stronger ales. We don’t want those Aussie schooner glasses though. CAMRA member Croydon & Sutton Third pint good. Particularly for trying the strong ales. If separate glasses are too much hassle, give us a third-pint line on the pint glass. CAMRA member – North Surrey Please bring back third glasses. I wanted one last year but there weren’t any. With the Strong Ales Bar you really need third pint glasses or a third pint line on the pint glass. CAMRA member – North Surrey Need to serve third pints so that people can try more beers. CAMRA members – North Herts TH comment: we will put the issue of third-pint measures back on the agenda for next year’s festival committee (if there is one) but I for one remain to be convinced. I must make it clear however that the use of third-pint glasses is not a CAMRA requirement – or even a recommendation. This has been confirmed with the Director (National Executive member) responsible for local beer festivals. ‘Schooners’ are not on the agenda. Major complaint – where are the half-pint glasses? Pint glasses too large to hold. No details given Good Value: Congratulations on your sensational pricing this year! Non-member Wonderful beer prices CAMRA member – South East London Beers not pricey CAMRA member – South West London Wonderful prices CAMRA member – South West London Beer very well priced CAMRA member – Bromley I think this year’s pricing structure is a mistake – charging significant amounts for admission discourages people (members or not) from attending for a short while for a couple of drinks. I work about half an hour round trip away in Vauxhall and have maybe 1½ pints before having to leave – I’m not going to pay £3 to do that! Worse, non-ale drinkers (who will not be members) will not pay £4 just to pop in and try an ale or two and hopefully be converted – surely a key CAMRA aim? Drop to a minimal cost – at least at lunchtime – and cover your hall hire costs by adding a little bit to the beer price. CAMRA member – East Surrey I really appreciated the availability of ‘tasters’. I feel that this is very important and promotes a good approach to trying new real ales. CAMRA member – West Middlesex After the rather ‘jobsworth’ rejection of tasters at the Pigs Ear last year, it was a breath of fresh air to experience the generous nature of the South London crew. CAMRA member – West Middlesex Other – Publicity: Travel through (Clapham Junction) without shopping every day but didn’t notice poster CAMRA member Surrey/Hants Border TH comment: it definitely said ‘shopping’, not ‘stopping’ As far as publicity is concerned, I have not come across anything than CAMRA-related sources CAMRA member – South East London (is our publicity effective?) No, you don’t send it out Non-member (added ‘never again’ so presumably a disgruntled ex-member) TH comment: well, if he/she has left the Campaign, why should we be sending them anything? Would really appreciate proper tasting notes on the on-line version of your beer list – it saves having to take two visits to the bar each time – one is more thorough, the other is more recent. Why not combine them? CAMRA member – South West London TH comment: sorry, I don’t understand this... Webmaster comment: The online beer list is no more than a convenient list of the available beers at the start of the festival - the festival programme contains the tasting notes. Didn’t think much of the logo – what happened to the dog/cat theme? CAMRA member – South West London Glass design is rubbish! No details given Glasses very disappointing CAMRA member – South Hants The logo looks bizarre – bring back the cartoon dog CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton I love Battersea. Where were the dogs? Especially on the glass? CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton Other - Catering: The chilli con carne was great. Non-member Good hearty food portions; ideal menu for a beer festival CAMRA member – Leeds Please could we have a different caterer or an alternative food outlet. Not all the food is to our taste and we would like an alternative. CAMRA member – Brighton & South Downs It is often very cold when the festival is held. Selling hot tea and coffee would make the festival more welcoming Non-member Definitely the best food CAMRA member – Croydon & Sutton I loved the food – great choice and good value CAMRA member – West Middlesex ...also the Polish food was great and good value CAMRA member – West Middlesex Please could we have some strong cheese roll please eg Stilton – thanks CAMRA member – East London & City TH comment: they are actually quite easy to make if you want to bring your own... Other – other... All (beers) pretty good but no point voting as the winner will always be pre-decided by the best friend of CAMRA – get real! Non-member (added ‘never again’ so presumably ex-member) Is it really a competition or is it all decided by bungs? Has CAMRA become self-defeating – too big for its own good? CAMRA member – Cornwall TH comment: there are always some... Cynical and of course totally false, to the point of being defamatory. I don’t know how they do things in Cornwall but I’m glad I’m a member of South West London Branch. You can see the Comments about the 2011 festival at www.batterseabeerfestival.org.uk/2011/comments/.