Monday, September 26, 2005

Dayton & Columbus

The marathon continued on Saturday with Alefest Dayton. I have to say that it was starting to get a little fuzzy. Daydreaming and pulling off on the exit towards the beerfest, I was brought back to reality when a carload of Cincinnatians, more importantly River's Bendians, started honking and waving. Yes, it was Thursday's crew rarin' to go again. We rolled into the park, got things set up and welcomed 2,000 of our closest friends to drink beer and enjoy another summer day in the park. The SE Ohio beer community is cozy and growing. Lots of retailers, distributors and beer-folk all seem to know each other and work together.

Alefest Dayton was put together very well by friend and colleague, Joe Weisman. It was a blast seeing people from both tastings earlier in the week come by to say hello and clink a glass or two.

I have to share a funny story. I was grabbin lunch, sitting in front of the stage that was home to the local DJs. One of the DJs from the sponsor radio station got on mic to announce the winners of the celebrity blind tasting tournament. No, the celebreties weren't blind, the tasting was. He went on to describe that there were teams that were assigned the challenge of identifying beers by taste without seeing the label. They were to guess style, origin, brewery and brand. He announced that his team had won and went on to describe the process and the beers they guessed.

"Our first one was Pilsner Urquell, which we nailed....its sort of a European Amber...."


Maybe I'm turned from beer-geek into beer-prick, but c'mon, the style is in the name of the beer. I thought the blind-tasting was an intersting format, but it didn't do so well as an attention getter from the stage. Our friendly DJ reminded me of where we are in the public conciousness. We have people interested in knowing more or at least appearing to know more about beer, but they're not always completely informed. I'm all for bringing people into the process, especially media types, but we might want to be careful before putting a mic in their hand in front of a beer-savvy crowd.

Anyway...following the festival, the Premium boys, the guys from Belmont Station and our friend Gabe
had a great hang at Tank's Bar and Grill, a friendly local joint pouring Mad Hatter. I was wiped out and waiting for the second or third wind to roll in.

It came rolling in, but when it did, I was in Columbus with Andy and Gabe at a favorite of mine; the St. James Tavern. Then the Betty's crew joined us and well, it got late out. I'll share this advice with any of you that might end up drinking with Andy at the St. James. Don't play head to head, Texas Hold 'em after bar time with him. I also advise against playing pool with him. That is, unless you enjoy getting your ass kicked. Thanks for the couch, Andy.


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