To Be Frank, by Frank Edmonds, October 14, 2014

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I was asked possibly every pub-goer’s dream question last week. We were in the Coach And Horses, at Dersingham. We were seeking refuge, because we’d been having One Of Those Days – we’d fought the computer, and lost.

Badly. I think it was when steam was starting to come out of my ears that The Other Half tactfully suggested: “Shall we go and have a drink?”

It was the best suggestion I’d heard all morning – in fact the only one that guaranteed success. So off we headed to the Coach, where it just so happens they were planning this weekend’s beer festival.

So there I was, nursing a healing pint at the bar, all thoughts of computers evaporating with every passing sip. Then landlady Sheila, casual as you like, asks: “Are there any particular beers you’d like us to get in for the beer festival?”

Wow, are there?! It was like a fruit machine was spinning round in my eyeballs – but with beer badges instead of fruit symbols. Ker-ching!

“Well it’s funny you should say that,” I said, and pulled out a list from my pocket ... which concertina-ed all the way across the bar, over the floor, out the door and right into the car park.

Well, actually no. That would seem a tad greedy – and you’d scarcely have the capacity to even try them all. Besides, a good beer festival is like a voyage of exploration and discovery – chance to try new brews and discover some hitherto unknown gems. And when you can buy them in thirds, instead of halves or pints, you get to try even more!

All the same, it’s not every week you get asked to nominate a favourite brew for a beer festival, and it was a chance I couldn’t pass up. So I gave it serious consideration, and several mouthfuls later, I said to Sheila: “Well, I wouldn’t suggest any one beer in particular, but personally I’d love it if you had a porter.”

“Oh, we’ve got one of those,” Sheila said.

Ker-ching! You’ve gotta love a pub like this, haven’t you?!

So from Friday to Sunday this weekend, if you pop along to the Coach’s beer festival, you may see me. I’ll be the one in the corner, mumbling: “Come on! There are over 20 real ales and ciders, and I haven’t got round them all yet!”

There’s also live music every day – DNA at 9pm on Friday, Chibber at 9pm on Saturday, and 101 Proof at 4pm on Sunday.

And we’ve managed to pull a bit of a flanker, in our household. The Other Half has relatives visiting this weekend, and a big family meal was planned. But instead of going to a boring old restaurant, she’s artfully managed to persuade them that it was a much better idea to book at table at the Coach instead! Do you see what I did there? I’ve managed to blag a lift to the beer festival!

There is, however, one slight snag. After this plan was cunningly conceived, agreed by all, the table booked, and the arrangements made ... it was only then that I realised there’s a straight clash with a live Liverpool match on the telly!

Oh well, you can’t have everything, can you?!