Monday, November 23, 2009

That Itch Has Been Scratched

You know when you get something in your head and it just won’t leave until you fulfill it? Like when you’re watching TV and there’s a commercial for some new, super yummy looking Blizzard? Or when there’s a beer you can’t wait to try? Or that new place that’s gotten rave reviews?

Well, Gastro Non Grata was an itch for me. I had been reading review after review each time a GNG event happened. Sometimes there were already other plans on the calendar, sometimes hauling my lazy butt out of the house at 6 pm on a Sunday was more than I could manage. This Sunday was different.

I’d been thinking about it all week, knowing we didn’t have any plans for Sunday and thinking maybe, just maybe I’d make it this time. A little extra push of guessing it would be the last GNG event of the year didn’t hurt either.

So out into the darkening late afternoon I went, planning a quick stop at the Blue Nile, hoping Al would be working. Not only was he working, but Dave and Sharon were already there when I arrived AND Al still had Mummy Train on tap. Oh yeah, and it was happy hour (aka 2-4-1s). Things were off to a good start.

Parking near Triple Rock was challenging, but I was pretty sure I’d parked in a 1 hour space. However, as I made my way into Triple Rock the signs seemed to indicate that was not the deal and a sure ticketing and towing was in my future. So I decided to split the difference – I’d hang out for an hour, then go back to see if my tires had been chalked and go from there.

Inside I ran into two beer friends, Steve and Jason, who helped fill me in on how these events went down and provided me someone to talk to as this was clearly NOT my crowd. Crowd is also an operative word here, which if you’ve been to festivals and such with me you know is not my cup of tea.

Since no beer was being poured gratis for some time I bought a pint of 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA and was pleased to find it a worthy purchase.

Things finally got rolling about 45 minutes after the doors opened with the first band playing and Northern Brewer sampling the lambic they’d brewed at the last GNG event. Great music and a very nice, not sweet and appropriately sour lambic.

About ½ hour later the first of the meat raffles was held, the first sample of 21st Amendment (Brew Free or Die IPA) was offered as was the first food sample, Chef Landon’s take on tator tots.

After braving the madhouse to get a sample of beer and food, neither of which I found remarkable, the second band started. They were even less remarkable than the other two components and it was at that point I decided to cut my losses and depart.

I was really looking forward experiencing GNG and really wanted to like it. But apparently it just wasn’t in the cards. Maybe I’m too old, maybe I like a better setting to enjoy good beer, maybe I like to be able to talk to the people I’m with and actually be able to hear what they’re saying. Whatever it was, it wasn’t for me but at least that particular itch got scratched.


  1. Kris - thanks for the info. I've kinda been wanting to go, but honestly, the meat raffle turns me off entirely.

    While I'm usually one to try and experience things for myself, I might just take your word for it and deem it "not my scene".

    So - I take it you went home without getting a parking ticket?

  2. Yes, I managed to make it without a ticket, but am still a bit confused about the parking signage in that area.

  3. Thanks for the post. I've also been meaning to go to GNG but have always found a reason to not go. Typically a sign that I won't like it.

    I'm with you on reaching a point in life where you don't want to hit the huge crowd scene and wanting to be able to talk to people around you.


  4. Hi Kris,

    There is a new beer being brewed in MSP - Monk's Blood from 21st Amendment Brewery in SFO. We wanted to send you the press release, but need your email address! Product and images are available too!

    Just shoot me an email at (Campbell Consulting does PR for 21A).

    Hope to talk with you soon.