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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

(Pouring a huge favorite--always--Founder's Brewing Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
Incredibly, I made it through the weekend. Without chiropractors, massages, or falling down. I worked 32 hours in 3 days. I unstocked 90 cases of beer, set up and tore down 1 huge beer fest. I tended bar for a more-than-sold-out BoDeans concert, likely pouring 300 drinks and opening more than 150 beers. I dealt with 1 massive crisis and turned it into 1 fantastic extra offering of food.

The Extreme Beer Fest was a huge success. Probably too huge. While I'm thrilled that we pulled it off with 90 beers and 3 distributors, we all decided that bigger, in this case, is not necessarily better. For October's event, I'm scaling back, doing a statewide (translation, Michigan only) beer fest. But, having said that, Friday night I was certainly the belle of the beer ball.
(The view from above)
Favorite beer of the night? It's a toss up, but I'm fairly certain that Warren Michigan's, Dragonmead and their Final Absolution won by a small margin. Dark Horse (Marshall, MI) was another huge favorite, as was local brewery The Livery and Great Divide out of Colorado. The bbq and smoked salmon courtesy of Wheatberry Tavern (Buchanan, MI) were absolutely incredible. The shop is stocked to the gills with beer, and the sales rocked my world.

The best part of the whole night, aside from my amazing crew at The Acorn and my rockstar pourers? The new faces, specifically those of self-proclaimed beer geeks. I got more compliments than I could handle (including my favorite: "Do you get proposed to ALL the time?") and saw a lot of happy, buzzed people. People traveled for this event, and not just the usuals from Chicago. One guy drove from Madison just for my event...which, in the beer world, truly means something.
While I'm exhausted, nursing a broken toe, and readying to rally for an insane few weeks of travel and work, I'm still basking in the beer geek glow. And beginning the logistics for October.
All Photos Courtesy of Richard Hellyer/F Stops Here

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