*Programming note: Humpday happiness will return August 27th*
Saturday we woke up to a picture perfect day. Blue skies, sunny and a nice breeze. All of these along with stellar organization came together for what has been dubbed as the best beer fest of the summer. Erie Brewing, with the help of countless volunteers and staffers Becky, Jim and Bruce, knocked the ball out of the park. Hands down this was one of the best times I’ve ever had at a beer fest of the many I’ve adventured to. We were attending on press passes so we had to make sure we lived up to our names.
*click here for the photo gallery*
Overall we hit 20 brewers before the afternoon session ended. Each brewery was very generous with their time (except Sierra Nevada who said they don’t do interviews. *pttthhh* you’re at a public event, jagoffs). Liberty Park was an incredible place for the event as the horseshoe of brewers opened to a view of Lake Erie.
The memorable moment came when we finally met the winners of our “Trip to Erie for Beer of the Bay”! Emilie was the big winner and as a treat to her boyfriend, The Drunken Polack, drove them 9 hours from Virginia Beach to Erie for the weekend. Great people and it really felt good knowing that someone who appreciates craft beer won the prize.
Also for me it was great to finally meet Tony the Beer Guy. His passion for the craft beer industry is amazing and reminds me why I do the show. He’s towards the end of our show so check him out.
For a full review of the day check out EP41 – Beer on the Bay.
We head to the Avalon to check in for the night and get ready for dinner. Wouldn’t ya know it, we’re on the same floor as the brewers from the fest. This is gonna get ugly. More on that later.
We make the 4 block walk from the hotel to the BrewErie for a couple beverages and food. For the next 6 hours my ass stays planted at the bar socializing. I knew it would happen. When you’re in great company you never wanna leave. Ailyn, Mo, Davin and Chris made sure that we were well taken care of. At one point some of those less experienced intoxicated beer fest stumbled in and we had to keep the peace as guys were throwing themselves over the women working. When Chris’ shift was done he joined us on the other side of the bar for shots of Jameson. yes, shots. you can guess where that lead to… where am I again?
The band for the night was Sting Theory and I have to say that it’s been 7 years since band that I didn’t know was playing in a bar and blew me away. They ended the night with a version of Comfortably Numb that was as good, if not better than Floyd!
The bell rang and it was time to head out of the BrewErie. Closed one place so why not another! We were told that the after party was at Docksider which we promptly made the voyage to. I had never been there before and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Very cool bar and nice beer selection. Flaming Dr Peppers were ordered while Matt from VooDoo revisited the joys of hanging with SIDT 🙂
Night ended and all were told to go to room 637 which was where the next party was. Apparently no one told the brewers there as we were the ones to break the news upon arrival. Main Street guys treated us to some of their kegs which were chilled in the bathtub by filling our water bottles. The rest of the night is sealed. Maybe some other post.
Sunday we hit one final token of a trip to Erie and had meatball omelets at Dominick’s on E.12th Street. Most locals know this is THE place to go for food either after drinking or the morning after. Meatball might sound foul but trust me that it is the only thing to ease your pain.
The trip was a complete success and Erie Brewing did a fantastic job playing host. I’m all ready for next year to come around!