Durham, NC Another big drive, another great trip through the country across highways i've never been on. Some Los Lobos, some Charlie Hunter, some String Cheese Incident. I was excited to hit Durham, but i really had no idea what was ahead. New friends, old new friends, good people and a great event were all waiting. A pre-party that got down right silly followed by burritos and like 30 college kids wearing all white. It's no wonder i got all tangled up with the Gonzo crew, it had Nelson Otto written all over it.
All About Beer is one of my favorite beer mags and it was great to see them put on an event as particular to thier cause of elevating and explaining beer as their magazine is. Breweries from far and wide took over the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on a clear blue Saturday for a day of beer tasting. Planet New Holland was in Michigan Alley on the first base line and we were propped up between Founders and Kuhnhenn. We poured a lot of beer. A lot. Both sessions were a lot of fun.
Quite a few beer blogs were well represented in human form. I really wish i could have made the tutored tastings, but it just wasn't in the cards. Rick Lyke, Lew Bryson, and Jay Brooks were among the beer writers chosen to walk drinkers through beer function specific samplings of a handful of beers served at the festival. Mr. Brooks chose Mad Hatter as part of his Burton to Brutal tasting. Around the fest there were a few special beers tucked into certain places, some easily found and some otherwise. Ahem.....
With all those empty bottles comes a lot of empty crowns and there's nothing like a good ol' fashioned Capslam. There were fierce competitors at World Beer Fest, but the presentation of the winning sentence, word by word delivered in sultry Southern, was enough to take the prize.
My volunteers were huge all day. Marie, now a World Beer Fest veteran and full time employee of The Red Cross, handled a tall order as i hopped back and forth from table tending and bumping elbows all morning.
Then Liz and Ali threw down and owned Planet New Holland during the second session. They kept the crowd entertained and coming back for more. With more catchphrases and inneundo than i knew what to do with i was sad to see the second session come to a close.
In all, i had a lot of really great conversations about beer and met some really cool folks. Got work done too in the thick of it and somehow managed to wake up the next morning and still make it back to Philly for the Bella Vista gala event.
If you're Durham folk and reading this head to the awesome Tyler's across the street from the park on 10/8 for a Mad Hatter draft event. Awesome food, awesome beer, awesome staff - Tylers is a definite must hit.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Posted by Dr Joel at 9:50:00 PM