Plymouth Day 9: Plymouth Beer Festival 2013.


Plymouth’s basketball team plays at the Pavilions, and it has hosted numerous rock shows over the past quarter century, from INXS to Papa Roach. Our introduction to the venue came on the occasion of the Plymouth Beer Festival, an annual two-day event hosted by the city’s CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) chapter.

There were cask-conditioned, naturally fermented “real ales” from Southern and Northern England, and from the counties of Devon and Corwall. A whole section was devoted to (apple) cider and (pear) perry.

We paid 10 pounds ($15) each at the door and received souvenir pint glasses with a half-pint pouring line, programs, and three, maybe four tokens, each redeemable for a half-pint. No four-hour sampling session in the American manner, this one’s about drinking halves and fulls of what you like, buying extra tokens as needed, and staying all day long if necessary.

We’d already been shopping earlier in the morning, and checked into the festival around noon, when it opened, before adjourning to a nearby movie theater for Despicable Me 2 … then coming back into the fest (pass outs are permitted) for a few finishing drinks: Mild, Porter, Bitter, an American-style Double IPA (St. Austell’s Big Job) and even an alcoholic ginger beer with considerable heft and peppery spiciness.  

Dinner was taken at Veggie Perrin’s, a simply amazing, all-vegetarian Indian restaurant featuring Gujarati cuisine; reasonable portions with amazing flavor, sans meat, and unlike any Indian food I’ve ever had. It is highly recommended, and came on the heels of its polar opposite, a massive, traditional fried breakfast prepared by Jennie to start the day, one with bangers, bacon, hash brown potatoes, beans, blood sausage (okay, black pudding) and tomatoes.

I’m surprised there was room for the beer. Somehow, I managed.

(The account of our visit to the UK is being posted piecemeal, backdated to the actual day)