Sunday, April 27, 2008

Beer, Indian Food and Reggae

Yesterday was the World Beer Festival. It's great fun. This is one thing that makes living in Raleigh tolerable. For the event in Raleigh, they block off Moore Square Park plus Martin and Person Streets. They set up tents and the people with beer line up at tables to dispense their tasty beverages. When you enter, they give you a plastic cup with one, two and three ounce markings on them. Each vendor gives two ounce samples. While this may not sound like a whole lot, after you've hit 30 vendors, I assure you, two ounces is plenty. There were 118 breweries represented, each with anywhere from one or two to four or five brews to taste. The afternoon event goes from noon to four. Do I need to state the obvious? I was useless by one o'clock. The afternoon was great fun. I had many a disappointing brews, but sampled a few surprising winners. One of my favorites was the Polish Mead. They had two styles, one light, one dark, with 16% alcohol. The dark was okay, but the light mead was phenomenal. When it comes to alcohol, my people know what they are doing. After we took a lunch break for some really good Indian food and bad reggae music and went through the tents again, I hit the APIS Meadery table a few more times. At 3:30, and 16% alcohol, this was probably not the best judgement call I could have made. I really enjoyed the Magic Hat Hocus Pocus. They are in Burlington, VT, where I am going next month. One of the real losers of the day was the Lemon Grass Wheat from the Outer Banks Brewing Company. I can't believe the brew master doesn't think it tastes like a citronella candle. Everyone else does! I tried to sample things I couldn't normally get or haven't tried. One big disappointment was the volunteer staff. The folks doling out the beer, with a few exceptions, were just volunteers from town who wanted a free ticket to the evening session. What this means is that the either didn't know much about the brewery or didn't care.

I made this hat for the event.

I got lots of compliments on the hat. I am very proud of the hat. At some point during the afternoon, three very young, rather intoxicated frat boys inquired about my hat. They wanted to buy it. The best part was...they were completely serious about it.

The temporary tattoos were everywhere. (Can you see the cute polk dot lining in my hat?)

I left my posse around 4:15 to head home. I was across the street from the entrance/exit of the festival waiting for a rickshaw to take me home when I saw this spectacle of amatuerism:

The guy clinging to the lamp post for dear life gets up at one point to follow a girl about his age in approximately the same state as he. He then resumes his position at the lamp post, only to get up again a couple minutes later to just wander off across the street. He was ready to go. I have to admit that he did not at any point look like he was going to throw up. Impressive.

The guy in the green shirt, who is obviously three sheets to the wind, is yelling, "dude, you're not passing out on my watch! You're not going to pass out on my watch!"

Knowledge to be applied to the next event:

1. Make pretzel necklace. There were lots of folks walking around with pretzels on string around their neck. I really could have used one of those.

2. No need to bring water. They have free bottles and water coolers all over the place.

3. Don't put "over 21" id bracelet on quite so tight next time.

4. Eat more carbs before the event. Pancakes, biscuits, etc.

5. Wear adult diaper. They have port-o-potties, lots of them. Before yesterday, I had the proud honor of saying I'd never used one. After yesterday, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I will never use another one again.

6. Either go alone or go with 15 people. I went with about 15 people. There are so many people at the event there that you will invariable lose your drinking partners many, many times and for long periods of time. If you go with 15 people, every time you turn around, there's someone you know. If you go with one or two people, I suspect you will spend a lot of time looking for them.

I was looking forward to just lounging about today. Sadly, the church next door has set up three praise and worship bands in the span of two blocks. Complete with amplifiers that go to 11. This is one thing that makes living in Raleigh not so pleasant. Of all the days for the weather report to be wrong. It was suppose to rain today.

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