The day after a beer festival is always one for reflection, be it prompted by someone else (“So how was the beer fest yesterday?”) or on one’s own. For yesterday’s Firkin Fest, I’d say pretty good, overall, but there were a few glaring points that put a damper on the whole thing.
Glaring Point #1 – Someone who was organizing the event made the very, very poor choice not to purchase/rent barcode scanners. Many people purchased their tickets in advance, online and brought their barcoded tickets to the event. Checking people in should have been a quick and simple procedure but no. Instead of using the barcodes as intended, the people doing the checking in had to go through the attendee list to verify tickets by last name, which not surprisingly, resulted in a very long line and an unacceptable wait to get in.
Glaring Point #2 – Another poor decision was to only bring in 5 port-a-potties. I don’t know how many people attended, or were anticipated, but 5 port-a-potties was in no way going to cut it. In past years there have been two to three times that number. Thankfully, this was remedied part way through the fest as additional units were brought in.
Glaring Point #3 – There were just way too many people there (so maybe it was good that line to get in was so long that some people simply left). I understand wanting to do well financially on an event, but it got really packed inside the tent and quite a few of the firkins were blown much earlier in the festival than I would have anticipated.
Now, enough of the gloom and doom (maybe better phrased as “ways to improve next year’s fest”) and onto the beer. And there was some REALLY great beer to be had!
Favorite Beer #1 – I’m gonna have to go with the crowd here and agree that Lift Bridge’s Chestnut Hill: “A La Nutsack” was the best of the fest. And I couldn't describe it any better than Jill did with her “Nutella in a glass” description.
Favorite Beer #2 – Goose Island Citra Hop IPA really surprised me. With the exception of some of their specialty beers, I’m generally lukewarm about Goose Island brews. This one however was a wonderfully grapefruitty hopped brew.
Favorite Beer #3 – My third favorite isn’t technically a beer, but a cider from Fox Barrel Cidery. Bonnie was not only tasty, and a redhead, but a sassy one, too. “Bonnie is the kind of girl who handcuffs you to the bed.” ‘Nuff said.