Chris Shepherd, the proprietor, has cut his teeth on his first brew and it was astonishingly good and a massive 6% too! It is being hiked around the county at farmers markets by a very dodgy character but this should not put you off trying this delectable brew. I am informed it has a high chance of appearing at the Shelford Feast next year.

Meanwhile Mr Brown has spent some time in the North East of England and was astonished that the CAMRA message has seemingly been rejected. Bishop Auckland, Stanley, and the like are beer deserts.

With so many good breweries like those at Masham (Theakstons and Black Sheep) and a bit further north, Jennings, to mention only but three, I just can not understand the problem. I spoke with many landlords who said they had tried to handle God's own beverage but could not sell it. The clue could be in the infuriating sparkler they seem to insist on using north of Birmingham, which makes real ale more like the imitation nitrokeg and the like. I was as usual met with amazement when I had the temerity to ask to have it removed before my pint was poured. I also asked how they poured the beer at beer festivals, and the answer was that if there were no beer engines it would come straight from the barrel. Whatever, work has to be done, I suspect missionaries from the South would be good in an effort to re-educate the heathens from the North.

I also have to mention the sadness of the passing of the skipper - King Prawn. When the beer festival was like a ship without a rudder; Shaun Marsh came along and guided this ailing vessel to calmer waters. With great leadership and using all God's winds we became the third largest Beer festival in the country. Shaun, you will be sadly missed but the legacy you have left is there for all to see, and the ship is in a far better shape than when you found it floundering on the rocks, Thanks a million, for everything.

Jerry Brown