Only us eccentric Brits could come up with an event called Beer & Buses – but that is exactly what took place on the Isle of Wight at the weekend.
The French have their wines from many regions, but we have wonderful ales with distinctive flavours.
The weekend proved that real ale is not just for older gentlemen with beards.
Then again, beards are very fashionable right now and we all know a lady prefers the more mature man!
The idea was to take visitors in search of the perfect pint all over the island, to its many rural pubs that are not greatly served by public transport.
Transporting them would be a fleet of vintage buses from all over the UK as well as from the island, some of which I’m sure people would have travelled to school on back in the day.
Portsmouth was very well represented with two beautifully-preserved green Southdown double deckers ferrying people to the far-flung corners of the island.
My hope is that real ale becomes trendy, as happened with cider.
We have such a wide variety of ales from all over the county, with some brewed right on the doorstep.
There is nothing better for me while enjoying a pint of Hole Hearted than knowing it’s brewed in my home town of Gosport.
Much better than a gassy, bloating lager from Australia or America.
The weekend proved to be a massive success, with many ‘real alers’ enjoying their trip back in time on board a ‘proper’ bus.
Meanwhile the local anoraks enjoyed seeing some unusual buses on the island.
Maybe I should organise an event like this for Portsmouth?
From The Churchillian to the Bat & Ball all the way down to the Still & West, travelling in a 1960s Southdown Leyland PD3. What a combination.
What struck me about the weekend is that ale is definitely growing in popularity with the younger generation.
They like the fact it’s individual and much more interesting than a pint of Carling or Heineken.
Time to ask for a pint of Invincible and break away from the boring norm.