The best beer festival within a three hour drive has come and gone but not without a great afternoon spent with a ton of friends drinking some really great beers. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere, except for during Town Hall pint club, where I’ve run into so many people I know which was really fun. Usually at these things once we’re inside the gate Mag and I part ways, knowing we’ll run into one another sooner or later. On Saturday, I think hardly 5 minutes went by between my departure from some group or another to get my glass refilled before I’d run into someone else.
For the first time I also went with a fairly well laid out plan. I had down the first place I wanted to go (the Surly tent to see if the VIPs had left any of the Oak Aged Cranberry Cynic), as well as the next four, and an additional 12 more I didn’t want to leave without trying. All in all, I did pretty well even though I had to wait to try Avery’s Brett Gueze (way too much gueze for me) and I missed three others.
Besides just drinking Mag and I also helped Ryan out with the MNBeer mystery tasting game. While it did mean I might have missed out on some drinking it was a great time and once things got going people seemed to really enjoy it. Lots of people gave the wrong answers but all were good sports and honestly, I’m not sure I would have done much better than the average person. The biggest challenge was trying to remember which beer I’d given to which player and that’s while I was pretty much sober and limiting myself to two players at a time. I knew there was a reason I’ve never been a waitress!
There were way too many beers to evaluate them all but my top three probably were Barley John’s Wedding Ale, Town Hall’s Fresh Hop and Flat Earth’s Rode Haring. There were some disappointments, too, but there’s no reason to dwell on those. Everyone will make something now and then that won’t be up my alley but overall I had nothing but a great experience. Oh, and Barley John's and Lift Bridge had some REALLY cute long sleeved girl shirts, both of which I intend to pick up very soon.