Sunday’s St. Paul Summer Beer Fest capped off a month that has been chock full of beer events. Like last Saturday’s Indulge, this was the first go around for this festival. I’m pleased to say that other than two minor items they did a fantastic job. And it certainly didn’t hurt that it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be outside at a beer fest, especially after the HOT weather we’ve been slogging through.
I’ll go ahead and get the two minor stumbles out of the way first.
#1 Apparently someone forgot to tell the organizers that us beer geeks are rabid about quick entry into festivals so the best way to appease us is to send two person teams down the line. One does the requisite ID check while the other tears tickets and applies wrist bands. A simple fix.
#2 While it was good to have water stations with dump buckets out in the center of the festival area, it’s also a super duper idea to have pitchers of water at each table. It kind of makes for an annoying disturbance to have to head to the middle between each sample. Again, a simple fix.
Now that’s out of the way, on to the good parts, in no particular order.
#1 Lots of places have good and/or easily recognizable tap handles. But then there’s a few that have really cool ones. Winner of “really cool ones” yesterday goes to Magic Hat.
#2 As I mentioned above in the first #2, water is an important feature at a beer fest. And no one took better care of folks yesterday than Barley John’s. Check this out! (picture courtesy of Cal)
#3 Crispin, which I was introduced to at Indulge, had a competitor this week. While I think Crispin makes a better product, Original Sin has some excellent artwork. Too bad they were only selling posters and not shirts. Hint, hint guys!!
#4 After enjoying seeing Chris at every event Furthermore has put on or been a part of, at long last I got to meet Aran!
#5 On a similar note, it was good to see Trevor, newest member and formerly mystery Beer Ninja, of Lift Bridge.
Two notable missing participants were Cold Spring and Great Waters. I’ll own up to not being a particular fan of Cold Spring in the past, but after having had their absolutely outstanding John Henry last week I was hoping to see them again and have some more of that beer. I didn’t get the skinny on why Great Waters wasn’t there, but did get to see half the team as Joel was helping out the Town Hall folks. Isn’t it great when we can play together nicely?
Overall, it was a great time and I look forward to this being an annual event on my beer calendar.