Last Wednesday Mike and I went along for our second trip to Chelmsford's annual beer festival. I'd been looking forward to it since our visit last year and was eagerly awaiting the world of beers, ciders, ales and stouts that were awaiting us.
Held in Admirals Park, a stones throw from Mike's house, we made our way over for around six o'clock, paid the entrance fee - that doubles as the price to purchase a commemorative pint glass - and headed into the main tent.
Entering a marquee that's packed from floor to ceiling with kegs of beer from all around the country is quite a sight and something any ale fan can appreciate and be double-keen to sample.
We started with a Sharps after chatting with the barman and asking for his recommendations. It's all very friendly with plenty of banter, the only thing missing this year was the sunshine.
After making our way through some wheat beer, cider and stout - all half pints mind, only the amateurs/alcoholics go for full pints - it was time for food. The choice was burger, hot dog, pasta, curry or hog roast. Hog roast wins every time. It's the apple sauce and potato wedges that make it.
After dinner we took in some of the live music before heading back for a final pass along the bar for more dark ale and cider before calling it a night and heading home.
CAMRA do a great job organising beer festivals all over the country so if you've not been to one before but like the sound of it check out the CAMRA website for all the details. You won't be disappointed.