|Early ... (Very Early)
||The boarding, bars and other assorted bits that make the festival work
are pulled out of storage and trucked over to the Formby. First job
is to get the damp proof layer and hardboarding down in the back bar
so that the scaffolders can start. The membrane protects the floor from
spills, the hardboard protects the membrane. Miles of duct tape hold it
all in place.
||The Hi-Tec engineers arrive with a lorry load of scaffolding and start
to assemble the supports in the back bar.
||The first beers start arriving. A couple of casks are stillaged and spiled
in the middle of the Formby stage ... purely for quality control purposes
later in the day!
||The bars for the back room have now been sorted into groups. The
beers are being sorted into the order in which they appear in the
programme. Quick pause for a sausage sandwich and cup of tea.
||The scaffolding is now up in the back bar and the scaffolders start
assembling the supports for the beers in the main hall. Work starts
taping down the damp proof membrane and hardboard floor protection
around the lager bar area.
||Around 3/4 of the casks are now in place in the back bar. The scaffolding
is going up well in the front bar and most of the beer has now been
delivered. Brian the bar manager is ankle deep in paperwork checking the
delivery notes against quantities ordered.
||A quick lunch is interrupted when the glasses arrive; two whole pallets
of them. The pallets will not fit through the entrance doors so they
have to be unloaded box by box and trucked over to the bar area ready
||Finish moving something like 500 boxes of glasses from the entrance to the
region of the glass washing machines. The back bar is pretty much complete
now with all the beers in place. The scaffolding is up in the main hall and
the Hi-Tec engineers leave. Glass washing starts.
||The lager bar starts to come together. Two of the three bars are now assembled
and in place. The chillers are plugged in at a spare outlet in the kitchen
to be chilling down. The crates and kegs are stacked and arranged in the right
order. The two casks in temporary stillage on the stage are starting to look
tempting. New bars are being made to replace some of the ones worn out over the
past 13 years. The many disputes over who is measuring what are quickly resolved
and the sound of power tools fills the hall.
||The bars in the main hall are pretty much complete and all the casks are now
stillaged. The new bars are looking really good. The rear of the lager
bar starts to look like mission control as the pipework goes in. Glass washing
continues a pace and every so often a truckload is delivered back to the front
entrance for storage close to where they will be needed.
||The bars are now being assembled in the back bar. The pipework behind the lager
bar is really taking shape. The bottled gas arrives and is hauled into position.
Glass washing continues. There are now something like 1,000 glasses stacked near
the front entrance ... only about 2,000 more to go.
||The casks in the back bar are being vented using the best implement for the job -
an engine valve (model of engine unknown). There are occasional cheers when a
'lively' one is hit. The main fridge for the bottled lagers arrives and
bottling up starts. The lager chillers are now pretty much down to
temperature and are in place behind the bars ready to be piped up. The new bars
are going into place in the main hall.
||The pipework behind the lager bar is complete. The gas is connected to start
flushing cleaner through the lines. Glass washing continues.
||The casks in the main hall are now being vented. Behind the bars in the back
bar the beers slowly gurgle away. If only they could talk!
||Finish flushing the lager lines and leave to soak for an hour. The casks in the
main hall are being labelled. It is time to start sweeping and having a
general tidy up. Glass washing finally completes.
||The first cask is tapped in the back bar; Phoenix White Monk. It is thoroughly
tested and quality controlled by those present. The rest of the kegs will be
tapped tomorrow, after all there are two casks on the stage to be checked as well.
||Sponsors signs are going up.
||Sponsors signs in the back bar are almost complete now. Cleaner is drawn
through the lines for the hand pumps in the back bar.
||One by one the lager lines are flushed through with water and the lagers
connected up. The first one out of the tap is Cains Red Erik, quickly
followed by Warsteiner. All of a sudden there is much interest around the
lager bar ... purely for quality control purposes!
||All the lagers are now on and the pumps are labelled.
||The day is done. Would the last person out please switch the lights off.